South Dakota responders learn from terrorism response exercise
| 01.24.2007 | 07:19:06 | Views: 3143 | ID:
January 24 '07: In South Dakota, responders participating in a terrorism response exercise said experience was the best teacher, reported. The recent statewide exercise sponsored by the South Dakota Department of Health gave responders and government leaders valuable lessons-learned for future events officials said.
Steve Wood, the vice president of consulting and professional services for Global Secure - a private sector partner who worked with the SDDOH on the exercise, told Digital Communities, "These essential lessons benefit public health officials in their initial exercises. ... Public health officials have become more sophisticated in developing emergency response plans, but truly testing the operations capabilities of those plans teaches lessons that no classroom can."During the exercise, 300 individuals from 64 of the total 67 hospitals in the state joined in the simulation "in which fictitious concert-goers exposed to plague began jamming hospital emergency rooms approximately 48 hours after exposure." The simulated surge of patients helped to create an environment similar to an actual event, participants said. LaJean Volmer, the South Dakota Department of Health' hospital preparedness coordinator told Digital Communities, "The beauty of this exercise was that it comprehensively tested every possible situation that would arise in this type of emergency. ... The scenario was realistic and aggressive and had the public health department in the lead role."
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