A parking lot full of East Peoria fire trucks and police emergency vehicles was not actually a cause for alarm on March 16. Area public safety agencies were at the casino for the annual Par-A-Dice Disaster Drill.
The early-morning drill involved the East Peoria and Creve Coeur fire departments, the Central Illinois Emergency Response Team, and Par-A-Dice Hotel-Casino security officers and employees in a mock hostage and fire scenario on the riverboat.
The firefighters pulled approximately 600 feet of hose through the service areas of the Par-a-Dice building to reach the lowest deck of the riverboat casino, and then conducted a search and rescue operation on that level. CIERT officers also swept the boat, looking for the mock criminals, and Par-A-Dice employees served as the "hostages".