Society & Culture

UGA Center for Mass Destruction Defense schedules disaster exercise in Atlanta

UGA Center for Mass Destruction Defense schedules disaster exercise in Atlanta

Athens, Ga. – The University of Georgia Center for Mass Destruction Defense (CMADD) will conduct simulated terrorist incidents on I-20 near Newton County and on the highways around Atlanta on April 17 to test certain hospital-specific procedures deemednecessary in treating victims of a major terrorist disaster.

The simulation will be a series of accidents involving tanker trucks and several automobiles. Several hundred citizens will become poisoned or contaminated, as will some fire and police personnel who respond to the scene to rescue victims. All victims will be transportedto area hospitals and emergency medical centers. Eventually the numbers of those requiring medical attention will exceed the capabilities of Atlanta metro hospitals and require transportation to outlying facilities.

Some 23 hospitals and other entities will be utilized in the exercise, with seven hospitalsfunctioning at the highest level (level three) of disaster utilization – Grady Hospital, St. Joseph Hospital, Newton Medical Center, Emory Healthcare, Emory Crawford Long, Emory Eastside and Wesley Woods. These level three hospitals are located in the area most affected by contaminated chemical spill or plumes of toxic smoke.Activated decontamination teams will receive casualties by ambulance or by self transportation.

Other hospitals, designated as level two or level one, are located in areas not affected by spill or plume and will receive casualties by ambulance or self transportation. Level two hospitals will utilize decontamination teams. Level one hospitals will receive only those patients who have been decontaminated at other hospitals.

Results of the training exercise will be evaluated to determine capabilities in areas such as surge, isolation, communication, security and incident command. Hospitals will be able to use these reports to assess their readiness and make improvements where necessary.

The event is being conducted with funding from the Georgia Public Health Department and exercise support from the Georgia Hospital Authority.

For more information on CMADD, see