Harrisburg | 20 April 2012
The Pennsylvania Department of Health today began a three-day drill to practice, test and evaluate its ability to respond to natural and man-made public health emergencies. This statewide, full-scale exercise will end Sunday, April 22.
The drill simulates major catastrophic events occurring simultaneously in three different regions of the state, a scenario that would typically overwhelm emergency response resources.
The exercise will help the department test the ability to evaluate and care for a large number of patients at the same time. Hospital services, mobile medical resources, the evacuation tracking system and communications between the Department of Health and field locations will be put to the test.
Numerous state and local partners are participating in Clearfield, Lebanon and Lehigh counties. The exact locations of the exercises are not being disclosed due to the safety of those participating and sensitivity of the exercise.
The drill will not hamper the ability of emergency crews to respond to any actual emergencies that may arise during the exercise.
Partners in the exercise include the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency, the Department of Public Welfare, emergency medical services, local police, emergency management agencies, hospitals, schools and other emergency response groups and volunteers.