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Duke, Durham to Conduct Emergency Drill May 17
Durham, NC - Emergency personnel from across the Durham area will conduct a multi-agency disaster exercise Tuesday, May 17, as part of emergency response training held at least twice a year.
"This exercise is designed to test the capabilities of emergency responders and hospitals in our area to a hazardous materials release or bioterrorism event," said David Marsee, emergency management coordinator for the Durham County Emergency Management Department. "After the training, we can look back to see what steps we can improve, including changes to training, equipment or policy and procedures."
The exercise, based on a hazardous material emergency planning grant, will simulate a chemical exposure and will begin about 9 a.m. on Duke University's West Campus in the area near the athletic facilities. During the exercise, access to the Duke's blue zone parking lot will be restricted and individuals may experience some congestion on Duke University Road.
Emergency vehicles and personnel will be on-site during the exercise, which will include actors simulating the reactions to a chemical exposure. The mock patients will be transported to Duke University Hospital and Durham Regional Hospital as part of the exercise, which is scheduled to end at 1:30 p.m.
Both hospitals will activate their emergency plans, which include overhead paging and announcements during the exercise. Patients in both hospitals will receive advance notification about the exercise and signs will be posted throughout both facilities to help inform visitors about the training exercise.
"We hope such a situation never occurs, but because of the coordination necessary between Duke and Durham medical and emergency responders, it's important that we train for such possibilities," said Ian Greenwald, chief medical officer for Duke University Health System's Preparedness and Response Center.
For more information about the exercise, contact Dawn D. Dudley, public information specialist for Durham at 919-560-0008, or Jessica Thompson, director of Duke's Emergency Preparedness and Trauma Program, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 919-970-8767 (pager).
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