Community prepares for disasters

ROCKFORD, Ill. (WIFR) -- "If everything went well, we wouldn't learn, but we're designed to break things and to make sure things are working," says Rockford Division Fire Chief, Matthew Knott.

Planning for what we hope never happens: That's what Fire Chief Matthew Knott and his crew are doing.

"Unfortunately these are things that we have to prepare for, and this is just a part of that preparedness effort," says Knott.

They're joined by police and fire departments all over the stateline, along with the FBI.

"It was a pretty realistic run-through of a situation to make sure we're ready from a staff standpoint becuase those initial moments are gonna be crucial," says Director of Business Operations for Rockford Icehogs, Mike Peck.

First responders are preparing for a bomb at the BMO Harris Bank Center in Rockford and a car driving through a crowd in Cherry Valley and Belvidere.

"Our guys come out and do a quick 30 second check on the victims, and then we move onto the next patient to make sure we have the best chances of survivability," says Belvidere Fire Chief, Alan Hyser on his crew's method of treating victims.

"Our part in this is that we receive patients. So we have to practice receiving these patients, and still continuing with our daily operations," says Steven Kirschbaum, who helped plan the drills and works with SwedishAmerican.

Fire crews say one of the most important parts is learning to work together.

"Ultimately if something large-scale does happen, it's gonna tax all of our resources and it's just important that we all work together to solve those problems," says Knott.