Chicago responders and emergency personnel stage drills
| 05.03.2006 | 07:54:09 | Views: 2999 | ID:
May 3 '06: A Chicago ABC affiliate reported Wednesday that state and local emergency management officials, first responders and homeland security officials will practice exercise drills designed to simulate two types of emergencies.
According to Jill Morgenthaler, the Illinois security department's chief of staff, "We will have two parallel drills. In Glenview, we'll have a terrorist attack with a collapsed building. ... On the pandemic flu, we will go from 32 individuals particular to tens of thousands ill and how do we take care of them as this spreads across the state of Illinois." Morgenthaler said she wanted the drills to "push the system and see if we're broken anywhere. We want to see if we're weak anywhere. If we are, get it fixed so if either one of these events occur, we are ready to act as a team."WBBM Radio 780 in Glenview, Illinois reported that the Department of Homeland Security will oversee the day's operations which includes a mock terrorist attack involving more than 800 emergency personnel. Overall, more than 2000 people will take part in the exercises which span two days. "Glenview residents may notice military helicopters, HUMVEES, fire trucks and other emergency vehicles heading for the Northeastern Illinois Public Safety Training Academy (NIPSTA) on Patriot Boulevard," WBBM Radio reported. The bird flu drill, a CBS affiliate reported, Illinois state spokesman Justin DeJong saying preparations include "more than 1,600 emergency response personnel, we have actors playing the role of victims, all coming together to make sure that the people of Illinois are safe and secure through the simulated incidents." The Chicago Sun-Times reported that a recent report released by the Bush administration outlining the national response plan to a pandemic would rely on state and local efforts to help quarantine and slow the spread of infections. And the Associated Press reported, "States and cities and businesses should not be expected to be rescued by the federal government if a flu pandemic strikes," according to the plan. Outgoing White House press secretary Scott McClellan told reporters on Tuesday that the plan "would really be a road map. ... It will cover both the government and the non-government actions that are being taken to plan and prepare for any potential pandemic." In the national response draft, in the event of a bird flu outbreak, "Local communities will have to address the medical and non-medical impacts of the pandemic with available resources."
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