Kirkland police and fire crews tore the side off an old GM Saturn to rescue a seriously injured "victim" and hauled away a drunken vehicular assault "suspect" in a two-car crash Wednesday morning at -- but it was all make-believe.
The crash was staged in the Juanita Beach parking lot as a training exercise, to keep firefighters sharp and officers on their toes, one of two or three drills the Kirkland Police and Fire departments conduct jointly every year.
"It went well," said KFD Capt. Larry Peabody, who supervised the firefighters involved. "It's good for us, for my crew and my team. We're also doing this as an educational exercise for the city."
Kirkland TV crews and still photographers swarmed the scene, documenting the exercise for the city -- and making it a bit of a challenge for other media. One of the friendliest city employees in Kirkland played the bad guy, , business services manager for the .
His role was that of a drunken driver who crashed into the side of the Saturn, trapping inside the other driver, who was actually the husband of another city employee.
Kirkland police and fire crews deal with dozens of real and serious car crashes every year. But the training drills help them all stay sharp and work together.
"Absolutely," said Firefighter Mark Hallen. "If it wasn't for the training, we wouldn't be prepared."
See for yourself -- please walk through the drill visually in our attached photo gallery!