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    Bio-Terror Drills (2011)

    BIOTERRORBIBLE.COM: The following bio-terror drills occurred within the calendar year of 2011. The fact that these bio-terror drills exist in mass confirms that an upcoming bio-terror attack is in the cards and may be played in a last ditch effort to regain political, economic and militarial control of society. Since 9/11, bio-terror drills have become the norm in America but have recently started becoming a weekly occurrence since February of 2011.

    A Few Pertinent Questions:

    1. When will the "bio-terror drills" go live?
    2. How will police, military and the American people know the difference between "real world" bio-terror and "drilled" bio-terror?
    3. Will the video footage of bio-terror drills be used by the government or media for pandemic propaganda purposes at a later date?

    Resounding Bio-Terror Drill Themes:

    1. A bio-terror attack and subsequent pandemic is not a matter of "if", but "when".
    2. Synchronicity and coordination of ALL local, county, state and federal government emergency agencies is being repeatedly drilled by DHS and FEMA in congruence with COG (Continuity of Government) /
    Martial Law plans.

    Title: South Carolina Conducts Chemical Weapons Emergency Drill
    Date:
    January 10, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Teams from the Charleston County Emergency Management Department in Charleston, South Carolina, recently conducted emergency training for how to handle a chemical weapon situation.

    “It’s an act of domestic terrorism,” Jason Patno said, according to PostandCourier.com, in reference to the scenario the teams faced.

    Dozens of first responders, including police, firefighters, emergency medical specialists and South Carolina National Guard members convened for the exercise at the former Laing Middle School near U.S. Highway 17 and Six Mile Road in Charleston, according to PostandCourier.com.

    Among the participants were 85 volunteers from the Weapons of Mass Destruction Regional Response Team from Charleston and Dorchester counties.

    Tthe 43rd Civil Support team from the National Guard also took part in the exercise. The Guardsmen possess specialized equipment that can be used to detect radiological, chemical or biological agents, PostandCourier.com reports.

    "Our proximity to the port and major transportation routes could place us at risk for exposure to a wide range of emergency incidents," Mount Pleasant Fire Chief Herb Williams said, according to PostandCourier.com. "Our staff is training to respond to and mitigate those incidents."
    Officials report that a full-scale exercise like this one will be conducted at least once a year
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Georgia Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: January 24, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: State and local agencies in Columbia County, Georgia, conducted emergency medical exercises simulating an anthrax attack on January 22 at a local high school.

    "We have evaluators, we have observers and we may just have citizens that want to come through and participate," Incident Commander Linda Graves said, according to WJBF.com.

    Over 300 volunteers participated in the drill at Grovetown High School, which simulated an outbreak of anthrax. The goal of the event was to train the public health staff in the event of a real life scenario, according to WJBF.com.

    "It is extremely important because if we have a biological attack on our area or if we have a pandemic, we need to protect our citizens in our county by medicating them. We can do that by vaccinating them if there's a pandemic,” Graves said, WJBF.com reports.

    Participants in the event had to drive through stations while the medical staff distributed medication. The organizers told WJBF.com that drive-through systems are more efficient and more effective. When people stand in line, they potentially expose one another to harmful substances.

    "We just need to make sure that the community knows that this is a drill and the purpose of it is to make sure public health is prepared to distribute large quantities of medication in the event of an emergency,” Graves told WJBF.com.

    Organizers said that this is the first drill of its kind undertaken in Columbia County (Bio Prep Watch).

    Title: Toronto Simulates Toxic Mist Release
    Date: January 26, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Emergency crews in Toronto recently participated in a simulated terrorist attack at the unused lower platform of the Bay subway station to test out the federal government's new national standard for firefighter, police officer and paramedic protective equipment.

    The simulation involved a terrorist walking onto the subway car and using a suitcase to release a toxic mist. The emergency crews needed to rescue a female passenger and determine what chemical was used, according to Inside Toronto.

    "This standard will ensure Canada's first responders have the highest standard of protective equipment available when working to address hazardous threats," Vic Toews, Canada's public safety minister, said, according to Inside Toronto. "The new national standard will allow first responders to do their jobs more safely and with greater protection."

    The new standard will apply to equipment that is used in chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear situations.

    "Firefighters and other first responders across Canada rely on countless pieces of specialized equipment each day when responding to calls," Ron Jenkins, Toronto Fire Services' deputy chief, said, according to Inside Toronto. "It is vital that we have the right equipment for the job, but choosing that equipment is no easy task especially when we're talking about a large scale CBRN event…Beginning today, Canadian firefighters, police and paramedics will have the comprehensive new tool to guide us in the selection, use and care of personal protective equipment" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Indiana Group To Hold Bioterror Simulation
    Date: February 1, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A group that organizes disaster drills in Indiana has chosen to conduct one in 2011 that centers around a bioterrorism attack.

    The Coalition for Emergency Response designs a disaster drill every year to help monitor the responses of partnering organizations, hospitals and clinics in northwest Indiana, according to NWTimes.com.

    Coalition member David Milen is the bioterrorism/disaster preparedness coordinator at Franciscan St. Margaret Health in Hammond and Dyer. Milen told NWTimes.com that the drills help put together plans should the disasters occur in real life.

    The coalition intends to run the bioterrorism drill in September and has hired a contractor to help pull it off.

    Last September, the coalition simulated the aftermath of a tornado in the area. Planning for the tornado drill, the coalition’s second such effort, involved more than 35 organizations in a five county area. There is as yet no word as to what next year’s emergency simulation might be.

    Also in Indiana, the Senate recently voted unanimously to support a bill that allows Indiana to call on and to assist emergency teams in neighboring states. Under Senate Bill 6, state and local units of government can enter into agreements with units of government in other states with similar legislation, according to EagleCountryOnline.com.

    If passed into law, Indiana will be the first state in the Midwest to adopt an interstate agreement model. Similar agreements are gaining support in Illinois, Michigan and Ohio (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Virgin Islands Conducts WMD Training Exercise
    Date: February 10, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The 23rd Weapons of Mass Destruction Civil Support Team of the Virgin Islands National Guard recently conducted a training exercise in Frederiksted to be prepared to respond to hazard-related emergencies.

    The training activity prepared the team to deal with any chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or high-yield explosive inside the territory or within the southeast corridor of the United States, including Georgia, North Carolina, Puerto Rico and Alabama, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News.

    The U.S. Army North evaluated the National Guard unit during the training simulation, which began at 4:30 a.m. and lasted throughout the day. Nineteen out of 22 team members participated in the drill in which they needed to identify, assess and give an analysis of the substance they collected.

    The scenario included the delivery of a pallet of packages that had an elevated radiological reading on a ship at a pier.

    "The culmination of years of training ensures that we meet the marks set forth from other CSTs across the nation,” Maj. Kenneth Alleyne, the 23rd’s unit commander, said, according to the Virgin Islands Daily News. "It is the same standard across the board and we're just as good as every state and territory."

    While the team knew it would be participating in the activity, they did not know where it would be located or what the scenario would be.

    “All CSTs are top-notch and the V.I.’s are no different,” Lt. Col. Bruce Alzner, of the Army North Civil Support Team Readiness Group, said, the Virgin Islands Daily News reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: New Mexico Police Force Holds Bioattack Drills
    Date: February 15, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Albuquerque, New Mexico, Police Department’s response team is preparing for any type of attack that uses biological or chemical weapons in a joint operation with homeland security that will keep them ready for many different emergencies.

    The last two weeks has seen almost 70 officers train on joint counter-terrorism tactics and learn how to be on the front lines of a major disaster, KASA reports.

    “What we’re trying to do is prepare our officers should an incident occur to prevent and/or deter any kind of terrorist or criminal act which would cause massive injuries or deaths,” Lt. Rogelio Banez of Homeland Security said, according to KASA.

    Some of the skills officers have learned include the clearing and securing of a building that has undergone a terrorist attack to decontaminating the victims and themselves.

    Other protection against bioterror attacks in Albuquerque comes from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Metropolitan Medical Response Team, which is meant to develop and enhance existing systems of emergency preparedness in case of a public health crisis. This organization coordinates law enforcement, hazmat, public health and other first response personnel to effectively respond to emergencies, reports the City of Albuquerque, KASA reports.

    The city of Albuquerque uses the MMRS plan to plan, develop and purchase any special pharmaceuticals needed to respond to medical consequences of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or explosive weapons in the Albuquerque metropolitan area (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Department Of Defense Completes Rapid Response Exercise
    Date: March 1, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: AVIBiopharma and the U.S. Department of Defense recently completed 11 days of a rapid response exercise using a potentially fatal pathogen.

    The work was supported by the Transformational Medical Technologies program, which is funded by the United States Department of Defense Chemical and Biological Defense program, which is, in turn, supported by the Defense Threat Reduction Agency, according to Finance.Yahoo.com.

    The AVI BioPharma tests centered on the appearance of the dengue virus, a sometimes fatal disease that infects up to 100 million people worldwide every year. AviBiopharma conducted its first TMT rapid response exercise successfully using the pandemic in 2009.

    The major test in the formal response exercise was to take a dengue vaccine from conception to production in the span of 11 days.

    The drug candidate in this case, AVI-6006, uses AVI Biopharma’s proprietary PMOplus technology, which is a positively charged-version of its neutrally-charged phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer chemistry, Finance.Yahoo.com reports.

    The exercise was part of an effort by the TMT, partnered with AVI, to conceptualize, develop and refine a rapid response capacity that includes the ability to identify a threat and respond to it by designing and producing a therapeutic candidate and then evaluating its preclinical efficacy.

    "AVI's ability to effectively and rapidly respond to real-world infectious disease and biological threats is inherent to the nature of our RNA-based technologies and represents the prospect of a new, faster, more efficient, and perhaps more predictable, option for drug development in our industry," Chris Garabedian, AVI's CEO and president said, according to Finance.Yahoo.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: South Korea, U.S. Armies Demonstrate Bioweapons Response
    Date: March 3, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: South Korean and U.S. soldiers participated in a training exercise this week that simulated the detection and disposal of North Korean chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear weapons as part of military exercises between the two countries.

    North Korea has described these exercises as a rehearsal for invasion while Seoul and Washington say that the simulations are purely for defensive reasons, the AFP reports. The U.S. has had a military alliance with South Korea dating back to the Korean War.

    “North Koreans have threatened to use weapons of mass destruction,” Brigadier-General Chuck Taylor said, according to AFP. “This exercise helps us to deter based upon our readiness, and if deterrence fails, to help prevail in any kind of threats and environment.”

    An expert estimation believes that Pyongyang, North Korea, may have enough plutonium to build six to eight small atomic weapons, though they are unsure if it is capable of mounting these atomic warheads on missiles, according to the AFP.

    According to estimates by South Korea’s defense ministry, North Korea has an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 tons of chemical weapons, which might consist of mustard gas, blood agents, nerve agents and phosgene, among others. They are also suspected to have biological weapons capability.

    The annual drills, known as the Key Resolve/Foal Eagle drills, started on Monday and involve 12,300 U.S. troops and close to 200,000 South Korean service members, including reserves (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Anthrax Attack Simulation Planned For Arizona
    Date: March 11, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: An emergency response exercise simulating an attack using anthrax is scheduled for April 2 in Gilbert, Arizona.

    The current plan calls for a “Point of Distribution Drive-Through Exercise” to be conducted at a local high school. The strength and completeness of county and town planning for a terrorist attack will be tested, according to AZCentral.com.

    Maricopa County, the town of Gilbert and Gilbert Public Schools are calling for 200 to 250 volunteers to participate in the exercise. The volunteers will be expected to make several trips through dispensing lines in order to simulate crowds coming to the site to receive medicine for their families.

    Although this scenario regards anthrax specifically, the system being tested would be appropriate for use with other biological disasters, from avian flu to any another kind of terrorist attack where a rapid dispersal of a vaccine would be needed to ensure public safety, AZCentral.com reports.

    Previous planning methods have used public facilities, but the drive-through approach is relatively new. It came about as a response to fears that people would form crowds at dispensary points at a time when avoiding contagion would be absolutely necessary.

    A similar exercise utilizing the help of 300 volunteers was recently conducted in Columbia County, Georgia, at the end of January (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Battery Park City Holds Chemical Attack Simulation
    Date: March 15, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: In New York City, the Battery Park City Community Emergency Response Team recently met to conduct its first terror evacuation drill since the September 11, 2001, terror attacks.

    The drill was created to test the area’s emergency response to an attack that utilized either chemical weapons or explosives, according to DNAInfo.com.

    "You can never prepare too much," Hank Wisner, deputy chief of the Battery Park City CERT, said, according to DNAInfo.com.

    Wisner was in charge of approximately 100 volunteers who began working at 7 a.m. to conduct the drill in Southern Battery Park. The local residents, who had been previously trained, listened to the scenario and then quickly broke into teams.

    Residents participated in search and rescue, animal search and rescue, medical triage, traffic control, maritime evacuation and other scenarios.

    The triage team set up in the Merchants River House, a local restaurant, DNAInfo.com reports. Mock patients came to the establishment complaining of heart attacks, broken bones, asthma and shock. Some pretended not to speak English in order to simulate a language barrier.

    "We were surprised by how few mistakes were made," Wisner said, DNAInfo.com reports. "It just went like clockwork."

    Wisner said that it would be difficult to predict what would happen in the event of a real disaster.

    "In every event with mass casualties, there's always going to be chaos," Wisner said, according to DNAInfo.com. "It never goes according to plan."

    The CERT’s role is to supplement the city’s first response teams, to keep order until they can arrive and then to help them control the situation. Battery Park City’s CERT was the first created in the city shortly after the September 11, 2001, terror attacks (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Virginia City Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: March 16, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A training exercise took place on Monday at George C. Round Elementary School in Manassas, Virginia, that simulated the release of anthrax spores from between the pages of the Washington Post.

    The school acted as a point of dispensing site to disburse simulated medications to close to half a million residents in Prince William County, Manassas Park and Manassas. Local officials believed said that the annual event was a success with an organized response setting and fast-moving lines, Inside Nova reports.

    “I thought it ran rather smoothly, actually,” Blake Leggett, a Nokesville resident and a volunteer who acted as a resident in need of medicine for the scenario, said, according to Inside Nova. “My concern is it really wouldn’t run that smoothly in reality. You have to think that a lot of the people who participated in this are all aware of the [emergency response] process … so in a real situation, you would have to add some time to it.”

    If the attack was genuine, responders would have relied on governmental public relations and media officials to spread the word about basic response needs, including what the attack involved and where to go. There would be multiple POD sites in a real scenario and only one family member would need to report to a POD.

    Coordination and planning for the event began six months ago.

    “I see this as a real opportunity for us to work with the entire community,” Sandy Thompson, supervisor of administrative services for Manassas City Public Schools, said, according to Inside Nova. “These emergencies could really happen, and we just need to be prepared” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Army Trains For Chemical, Biological Attacks
    Date: March 17, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Members of the 83rd Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear Battalion of the United States Army took part in a five day training session from February 11 to February 15 in and around Forward Operating Base Patriot inside Fort Bragg.

    The event involved around 477 soldiers, pooling resources from multiple CBRN companies stationed at the fort, according to Army.mil. The teams spent months preparing for the training exercise, which simulated a unit that was the subject of a chemical attack, as well as supporting and decontaminating the area affected.

    "Hazardous Response Platoon's primary purpose is to do sensitive site assessment…go into a location where there may be a development of biological weapons or hazardous materials, things of that nature,” Capt. Kelly Miseles said, according to Army.mil. “They have a greater defense capability and greater technological capabilities in evaluating whether the area needs to be exploited at a more detailed level. It's a very complex training exercise. We're integrating EOD support. We've got subject matter experts in the hazardous response field who are supervising that training – giving us feedback on how to improve what we're doing. We've really reached out and grabbed other organizations to help us in this training exercise,"

    While most chemical response platoons use stand-off capabilities, allowing them to test an area for contaminants from safe distances, they must also use internal site assessment as well. This can involve dismounting a vehicle in full protective gear and entering a “hot” building.

    "We're doing missions similar to what we always do, so the training events themselves are the same, but it's different terrain so they actually have to think about the routes and the locations,” Captain Peter Zapolla, company commander of the 51st CBRN Co., said, Army.mil reports. “It forces you to do real-world land navigation and terrain association."

    The teams engage in these training missions frequently so that they can respond like it is second nature, which means constant tactical training in chemical and nuclear reconnaissance and decontamination (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Wisconsin Post Office Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: March 17, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Dozens of postal employees and first responders in Wisconsin recently took part in an emergency drill designed to prepare them for the eventuality of dealing with a biohazard found in a piece of mail.

    The exercise took place at the John W. Byrnes Main Post Office in Green Bay, Wisconsin, according to GreenBayPressGazette.com. It simulated a situation in which anthrax or another dangerous substance was detected in one of the 700,000 pieces of mail that flow through the facility every day.

    "In an actual emergency, there would be no time to huddle up and plan what to do, so we conduct exercises like this," David Siegel, the assistant team leader for training for the Brown County Hazardous Materials Response Team, said, according to GreenBayPressGazette.com.

    Postal employees, as well as members of the Green Bay Fire Department, Brown County Health Department, Green Bay Metro Transit and the Northeast Wisconsin Technical College, followed the steps they would go through if a biohazard alarm were triggered.

    The participants were taken through the decontamination process and were then taken for medical examinations while emergency crews checked on the building's ventilation system.

    These exercises are held every three years at the six regional mail-processing facilities located in Wisconsin and part of Michigan. Milwaukee conducted a similar drill last year, GreenBayPressGazette.com reports.

    The Green Bay facility managed to stay open during the entire two-and-a-half hour process. Signs helped to explain the presence of emergency crews.

    "Clearly we hope to never need to respond to an emergency such as this but we believe that good preparation can provide opportunities to improve our emergency planning," Jeff Grendziak, plant manager at the Green Bay facility, said, according to GreenBayPressGazette.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Fort Rucker Base Simulates Bioattack
    Date: March 18, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The U.S. Army’s Fort Rucker, located in Alabama, recently conducted an annual force protection exercise aimed at preparing the installation for a potential biological attack.

    Starting at 8:30 a.m. on March 15, military police received a call concerning a suspicious white powder coming from a package at one of the fort’s outlying buildings, according to Army.mil.

    Soon after, the fire department was called and a hazardous materials team began to sweep the area for dangers. Office personnel were effectively isolated and decontaminated while the firefighters practiced entering the building.

    Soon after, a simulated explosion trapped several people inside and caused mass casualties. Both fatalities and injuries were collected and taken to surrounding hospitals, Michael Whittaker, the Installation Antiterrorism Officer, told Army.mil.

    Whittaker said that the exercise brought together many groups and units to conduct critical training.

    "Everyone worked real hard," Whittaker said, according to Army.mil. "There will always be some crossed wires, but we worked well as a team.

    "No one knew how bad the building was damaged and they were not going to put additional personnel inside. It's a work in progress, every time you go somewhere like this you never know what you're going to find."

    Shane Brown, Fort Rucker’s assistant fire chief, was pleased with the results of the exercise.

    "The department trains constantly on incidents such as this one," Brown told Army.mil. “Everyone followed protocol and was efficient."

    Officials will now review the exercise action reports to see what improvements can be made (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Arizona Seeks Volunteers For Anthrax Attack Simulation
    Date: March 21, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Maricopa County and Gilbert, Arizona, are conducting a drill on April 2 designed to prepare residents and public health officials for a potential anthrax attack.

    The threat of an attack is acknowledged to be low, but the county Public Health Office of Preparedness and Response wants to know how quickly responders can distribute medicine to the public in the event of an emergency, according to AZCentral.com.

    "This gives us a chance to look at (the county's emergency-response plans) locally, test it and practice it," Sheri Gibbons, the emergency management coordinator for the Gilbert Fire Department, said, according to AZCentral.com. “The concept is a public-health emergency that would require the county to dispense antibiotics to the people of Maricopa County."

    In an emergency, Maricopa County officials would be tasked with dispensing medicine to the public.

    "All of our public-health services are provided by Maricopa County," Gibbons said, AZCentral.com reports. "They have a tremendous task in trying to deliver these antibiotics to 3.7 million people across the valley."

    A point of distribution exercise is conducted annually in the area, during which volunteers are screened and given medication for a particular type of attack.

    Volunteers are still being sought for this year’s exercise. Officials hope to have found at least 200 people willing to participate by the scheduled start time. Those participating will receive a free lunch and a prepaid gas card to compensate them for their time and the use of their vehicles (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Air Force Simulates Chemical Agent Attack
    Date: March 24, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Air Force's 95th Medical Group’s In-Place Patient Decontamination Team recently took part in a three day training exercise at Edwards Air Force Base in California in which simulated chemical agents needed to be scrubbed off of dummies and healthy volunteers.

    The course, which took place between March 15 and March 17, consisted of hands-on and classroom training, including classroom discussion on types of chemical warfare agents, symptoms and signs of contaminated patients and the potential complications that could occur.

    "The whole purpose of this (training) is that if a patient presents himself as contaminated and gets inside the clinic, that contaminated patient can contaminate the entire clinic and shut down operations," Tom Bocek, the contract training manager and instructor for the workshop, said. "This in-place patient decon team can be thought of as the medical shield for the medical operations so that patients can be cleaned and the medical personnel can do what they really want to do, and that is save the patient."

    The hands-on training consisted of assembling a shelter, a containment system to collect waste-water run-off along with a hydrant system, and practicing how to process patients using a dummy and an Airman volunteer. One of the procedures covered the proper administration of atropine, which is an antidote to nerve agent poisoning.

    "We learned life-saving skills to decontaminate and save victims of chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear or hazardous materials," Master Sgt. Valerie Vasquez, the 95th Medical Support Squadron alternate decon team chief, said. "It not only protects the victims but the medical personnel treating them as well. I'm confident that this team can now perform decon if put in the situation where it was needed."

    The training for the team occurs once every quarter (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Silver Dragon Emergency Simulation Prepares For Bioattack
    Date: March 25, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: First responders, health officials and a team of volunteers participated in the fifth annual “Silver Dragon” emergency drill across San Mateo County, California, in a simulated effort to distribute aid to residents in wake of a disaster.

    Over 10,000 homes were visited from Daly City to Redwood City to simulate the distribution of supplies and medicine from federal stockpiles. The actual materials distributed were materials containing kitchen fire safety information, ABC 7 News reports.

    The San Mateo County Health System organized the exercise to test how the county would respond to a major natural disaster, airborne illness, widespread food contamination or a biological terrorist attack.

    “Anything that would require us to distribute medical supplies to our citizens,” Jana Cranmer, a health department spokeswoman, said, according to ABC 7 News.

    Around 60 health department staff members coordinated first responders from over 20 local fire and police departments with around 450 volunteers during the operation.

    Some of the agencies involved included the San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, the Belmont-San Carlos Fire Protection District, the Coastside Medical Reserve Corps, the Pacifica Police Department, the Half Moon Bay Police Department, the North County Fire Authority and the Pacifica Fire Department.

    The drill lasted three hours after a scheduled 9 a.m. start time (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Mesquite High School Hosts Bioterror Drill
    Date:
    March 31, 2011
    Source: East Valley Tribune

    Abstract: Gilbert’s Mesquite High School will play host to a mock bioterrorist training event Saturday. From 10 a.m. to noon, the Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and Response will run the event that will allow the county, town and volunteers to see how quickly and effectively they can work together to dispense medication to the public.

    “We have about 200 volunteers who have graciously given their time to basically drive in circles and simulate receiving medications during a mock anthrax attack,” said Alisa Diggs, program manager for Maricopa County Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and Response.

    “In order to challenge our team, we will also give drivers scripts so each time they drive through, they represent a different subset of our community such as parents with kids of different ages, those with health conditions and those whose first language is not English” (East Valley Tribune, 2011).

    Title: Arizona To Host Mock Bioterror Attack
    Date: April 1, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Mesquite High School in Gilbert, Arizona, will the host a mock bioterrorist training event run by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health’s Office of Preparedness and Response on Saturday morning.

    The event will allow the town, county and volunteers to determine how quickly and effectively they can work together in dispensing medication to the public in the event of a biological attack. The event will run from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., the East Valley Tribune reports.

    “We have about 200 volunteers who have graciously given their time to basically drive in circles and simulate receiving medications during a mock anthrax attack,” Alisa Diggs, the program manager for Maricopa County Public Health’s Office of Preparedness of Response, said, according to the East Valley Tribune. “In order to challenge our team, we will also give drivers scripts so each time they drive through, they represent a different subset of our community such as parents with kids of different ages, those with health conditions and those whose first language is not English.”

    According to an earlier call for volunteers, the exercise simulates a “Point of Distribution Drive-Through Exercise.” Those participating will take part in an orientation before the exercise and a free lunch during the event’s debriefing afterward, Arizona Central reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011)

    Title: Health Department Holds Drill For Bioterrorism Attack
    Date: April 2, 2011
    Source: ABC 15 News

    Abstract: The Maricopa County Department of Public Health's Office of Preparedness and Response, the Town of Gilbert and Gilbert Public Schools simulated a bioterrorist event Saturday April 2.

    The drill at Mesquite High School allowed the county, town and volunteers to see how quickly and effectively they can work together to dispense medication to the public.

    "We have about 200 volunteers who have graciously given their time to basically drive in circles and simulate receiving medications during a mock anthrax attack," said Alisa Diggs, program manager for Maricopa County Public Health's Office of Preparedness and Response.

    Dr. Bob England with the Maricopa County Department of Public Health said in an actual worst case scenario, hospitals' healthcare officials around the state would be overwhelmed.

    He said volunteers would be the best way to distribute life saving medications to Arizona’s four million residents.

    England added that 100 emergency medicine distribution centers would be set up across the state and practicing procedures before an actual bioterrorist attack is the best way to prepare for the amount of people who would need help.

    England admits that getting the medicines and vaccines for an attack quickly will depend largely on recruiting volunteers to not only help distribute, but also on people willing to pick up the necessary medicine for not just their own families, but their neighbors as well (ABC News 15, 2011)

    Title: Ohio County Simulates Bioattack
    Date: April 8, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Various members of the health community in Richland County, Ohio, took part in a mock disaster this week to test emergency preparedness in the event of a biological attack.

    The cities of Mansfield, Ontario and Shelby worked in conjunction to organize the exercise, which involved each city’s respective Health Departments as well as the MedCentral hospitals in Mansfield and Shelby and the Richland County Emergency Management, according to MansfieldNewsJournal.com.

    The purpose of the drill was to test how effectively these north-central Ohio Health Departments and hospitals responded to public health emergencies like bioterrorist attacks, outbreaks of infectious disease or other public health threats and emergencies.

    The exercise, funded by a grant, concentrated on the planning and communication among agencies, healthcare organizations, public health reporting, response and public communications during a scenario with uncertain circumstances.

    Since the scenario focused on the behind-the-scenes effort of a serious public health threat, no live patients, first responders or emergency officials responding to an incident in real time were used in the test, MansfieldNewsJournal.com reports.

    According to a CDC poll from 2005, nearly 90 percent of all hospitals in the United States trained their staff in case of an emergency caused by a biological agent such as smallpox or anthrax.

    Participants in the mock disaster plan to follow-up with another scenario in the near future (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: East Tennessee State University Nursing Students Receive Bioterror Training
    Date: April 17, 2011
    Source: Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: On Wednesday, March 23, a group of nursing students received a crash course in bioterrorism response during a two hour conference hosted at East Tennessee State University and run by the Johnson City Fire Department.

    The fire department had been given equipment by the Department of Homeland Security to participate as first responders dealing with chemical, biological and other unknown agents, TriCities.com reports.

    “Terrorism always being in our minds and what that entails, this is the equipment that we’ve got in Johnson City to keep us safe,” Sgt. Andy Caldwell said, TriCities.com reports. “And so what we’re doing is taking this equipment and showing it off and letting people know, to teach the nursing students that might be involved with those patients,”

    Several nursing students put on Hazmat suits during the conference to practice response efforts and decontamination.

    “It gives you the perspective of what’s going on in the field, maybe before your patients come to you and it lets you also know that there’s a possibility that this could happen,” Lucas Blair, a senior nursing student said, according to TriCities.com.

    After recent worldwide events like the Japan earthquake and tsunami, these students realized the importance of being prepared as first responders.

    “Japan, you know, people aren’t wanting to go as much because they’re afraid of the radiation exposure where there wasn’t that scare in Haiti,” Lauren Kidd, a senior nursing student, said, TriCities.com reports.

    The event was the first bioterrorism conference for nursing students to ever be held at East Tennessee State University (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Bioterrorism Readiness Drill Puts Milford To The Test
    Date: April 19, 2011
    Source: CT Post

    Abstract: Had this been a real emergency, "Milford in general would be fine," public health nurse Tara Mustakos said after a bioterroism readiness drill Tuesday.

    The scenario played out at Joseph A. Foran High School was that a release of deadly anthrax had been reported, and drugs to combat it had to be distributed to the 55,000 residents within 48 hours. The exercise focused on getting the two antibiotics normally prescribed to treat anthrax to those with state-issued handicapped placards and pre-chosen representatives of health care facilities, condo associations and organized neighborhood groups, said Deepa Joseph, the department's community health coordinator.

    Dr. A. Dennis McBride, the city health director, said the drill rehearsed Tuesday had been in the planning stages for eight months. "Pulbic health emergencies can be protracted, lasting weeks or even months," he said. "This exercise reveals the importance of getting medications to the public using alternative means."

    Joseph said the Foran site is a "drive-through" dispensing point. "The idea is that nobody gets out of their car, but they fill out a sheet for each household, listing allergies and other relevant information," she said. "Then our nurses determine from that which medication to dispense and it is brought out to them."

    The exercise began at 9 a.m. with a mock delivery of the antibiotics from the State Strategic Stockpile. Guidelines from the Department of Homeland Security are that every resident of every Connecticut town be provided with the necessary medications within 24 hours, Joseph said. About 1,400 cars would be coming to Foran to pick up packages of medications for the large housing developments they represent, she said, and another 5,000 individuals with state-issued handicapped placards on their rearview mirrors.

    Most Milford residents would go to Platt Technical High School to pick up their medications, and the city's emergency management plan also calls for public safety employees -- police, fire and health workers and the 30 volunteers on the Community Response Team -- to go to the Milford Senior Center for treatment.

    The mass distribution at Platt Tech was tested in 2006 and the Senior Center site in 2009, Joseph said, meaning that Tuesday's drill was the final stage. "We see some things that we want to tweak, but it is going well so far and we're learning a lot," the health official said.

    Each apartment complex managed by the Milford Redevelopment and Housing Partnership, the city's three nursing homes, condo associations and groups like the Wildemere Beach Association have representatives to pick up medications. At Tuesday's drill, each left with a half-sheet of white paper reading "This card represents the potentially life-saving medications that you and your family would receive in a public health emergency."

    The first stop, at a white tent in the upper parking lot, was for check-in and to pick up forms; the second, in the lower lot was where runners took the completed forms inside the school and returned with the packaged drugs. "I'd like to be busier today, but if this was real a lot more people would be here," volunteer Carol Dunn said. "This is very organized."

    The "Dinosaurs," a group of retired firefighters who man the department's canteen truck, had handed out about five pots of coffee two hours into the drill, former battalion chief Bo Hyatt said. "For whatever reason, hot chocolate is more popular today," he said (CT Post, 2011).

    Title: Connecticut Health Officials Host Anthrax Outbreak Simulation
    Date: April 20, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Health officials in Connecticut joined forces on Tuesday to participate in a drill that tested their response in the event of an anthrax outbreak.

    Members from their respective health departments practiced how they would deal with a crisis with time at a premium, setting up a point of distribution center for families to come for information and organizing medicine to be delivered to those in need, WTNH.com reports.

    "The purpose of the drill is to get medication to people within 48 hours of exposure to anthrax,” Dennis Johnson, the Guilford Health Director, said, according to WTNH.com. “They have 48 hours to be treated before symptoms of the disease start to develop."

    Those infected with cutaneous anthrax have reported case fatality rates of 20 percent without antibiotic treatment and less than one percent with it, according to the CDC.

    Participants in the drill had access to computers, maps, medicine and personnel, and were then trained on how to implement them quickly and effectively during the day long simulation that took place at the Guilford Health Center, WTNH.com says.

    Town officials, including the East Haven mayor, also took part in the realistic drill that spanned state-wide response actions, WTNH.com reports.

    The drill took place nearly 10 years after a Connecticut woman died as the result of the anthrax outbreak that infiltrated the mailing system (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: High School In Connecticut Plays Host To Bioterrorism Drill
    Date: April 20, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A bioterrorism drill was staged in Milford, Connecticut, on Tuesday at Joseph A. Foran High School, playing out an anthrax scenario and the provision of proper antibiotics to healthcare facilities, neighborhood groups and condo associations.

    The drill, which began at 9 a.m. with a mock delivery of antibiotics, had been planned for eight months. A plan for mass distribution was originally tested at nearby Platt Technical High School in 2006 and the Milford Senior Center in 2009, the Stamford Advocate reports.

    "Public health emergencies can be protracted, lasting weeks or even months," Dr. A. Dennis McBride, the city's health director said, according to the Stamford Advocate. "This exercise reveals the importance of getting medications to the public using alternative means."

    The Foran site was set up like a “drive-through” dispensing point where cars picked up the appropriate medicine for their assigned location while the on-site nurses determine what medication to dispense. In reality, around 1,400 cars would be coming to the high school to pick up medications for the housing developments they represent, the Stamford Advocate reports. The 5,000 individuals with state-issued handicapped placards on their rearview mirrors would also pick up their medications from the school.

    The event was reportedly a success according to public health nurse Tara Mustakos.

    “Milford in general would be fine,” Mustakos said, the Stamford Advocate reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Ohio County Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: April 25, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Health officials in Franklin County, Ohio, helped organize a large drill on Thursday simulating a mock anthrax attack.

    The event, which combined the efforts of public health workers and volunteers, focused on distributing 10 days’ worth of antibiotics to as many local residents as possible, Dispatch.com reports.

    “Anthrax kills one in 10 people who are hospitalized with symptoms of the bacterial infection,” Dr. Mysheika LeMaile-Williams, the city's medical director, said, according to Dispatch.com.

    Antibiotics taken before people develop symptoms can stop the disease.

    In total, around 600 participants, including the mayor, officials from police and fire departments, and the American Red Cross, took part in playing the various roles of the public and workers for the drill, which was held at local high schools during its spring break, Dispatch.com reports.

    The scenario was initiated when six detectors registered anthrax in the air, triggering a subsequent notification to to public health officials who then consulted with dozens of other federal and local officials and called for protective antibiotics from the national stockpile, according to Dispatch.com.

    In order to vary the antibiotic needs from the public, organizers of the drill made sure there were participants playing the roles of pregnant women and those that needed to collect antibiotics for as many as 20 people.

    The staff met its goal of providing medicine for 2,000 people per hour at each site, Dispatch.com reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Montana City Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: May 5, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The City-County Health Department of Great Falls, Montana, recently conducted its first large scale terror emergency drill aimed at testing its response to a bioterror attack at the Montana State Fair.

    CCHD staff and numerous volunteers gathered to test the policies and procedures that had been put in place to protect the area from the large scale dispersion of anthrax spores, according to KFBB.com.

    "The public health department plans and prepares for all kinds of different emergencies," Kate Marone, the spokesperson for CCHD, said, according to KFBB.com. "How are we going to get the anti-biotic medication into the people that were exposed, so that they can stay healthy and safe, after that potential exposure? But we can't do that alone."

    Volunteers were enlisted to play a variety of roles. Some panicked, others had trouble breathing and some simply wanted to hurry and get it all over with so they could get home to their loved ones.

    "People aren't gonna always be calm," Barbara Bessette, who works for the C.C.H.D, said, according to KFBB.com. "So, then, I will be more prepared in how I can help those people that are acting anxious. We have to plan for how we would get it out to 82,000 people, the entire county's population, within 48 hours."

    Marcus Collins volunteered to play a person with an invalid mother who also needed treatment.

    "My character was a person that was very impatient with the staff, who was trying to get their medication for the anthrax," Collins said afterwards to KFBB.com. "I would never say what I would or would not do, but I think that, in disasters, we're gonna come across a lot of different people and a lot of different moods and attitudes, even within ourselves."

    At the end of the exercise, the staff and volunteers conducted a debriefing session where they explained what went right and, just as importantly, what could be improved on (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Disaster Drill Allows Nursing Students To Learn Through Practice
    Date:
    May 13, 2011
    Source:
    Louisiana Tech University

    Abstract: More than two dozen senior nursing students from Louisiana Tech had a chance to help various community agencies in a recent disaster drill.

    Basing the drill on what would happen if Freon leaked and contaminated food at a party, students from Nursing 216 served as victims for the Ruston Fire Department, Pafford Ambulance Service and Northern Louisiana Medical Center employees.

    “The students learned the method of how to triage a large number of people at one time, how they decide who goes first,” said Shirley Payne, an associate professor of nursing. “It’s also a learning experience of how to collaborate with community agencies.”

    The students were also allowed to sit in on the debriefing at the end of the day, Payne said.

    “It was a real learning experience and they had good questions at the end,” she said. “The students loved it. They loved being the actors and actresses, but it was a learning and collaborative effort. We plan to have more drills in the future” (Louisiana Tech University, 2011).

    Title: Hurricane, Influenza & Bioterrorism Drill On Saturday
    Date: May 13, 2011
    Source: Morristown Patch

    Abstract: The Morris County Office of Health Management, in collaboration with the Northwest Region health departments, will conduct an emergency preparedness exercise on Saturday, at Craigmeur Recreation Complex on Green Pond Road in Rockaway Township, according to a statement from the county.

    The exercise is a collaboration involving the Morris, Passaic, Sussex and Warren county health departments. Borough Police Chief John Swanson said Hopatcong Community Emergency Response Team members were not expected to participate in the exercise.

    Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Team volunteers along with emergency response staff from each county will participate in the drill, setting up mass vaccination and antibiotic distribution clinics, Morris County Health Officer Carlos Perez said in the statement

    The exercise involves a hurricane, influenza and a bioterrorist event, Perez said.

    "The goals of this exercise are to develop the capacity to respond to public health emergencies as a region, to share resources and to enhance existing emergency preparedness plans," Perez said.

    The Northwest Region health departments have an excellent working relationship and have collaborated on various public health events in the past, Perez said. However, this will be the first time that that the region will collaborate to conduct an exercise, he said.

    Although the exercise is an elaborate one, Perez said it provides all of the scenarios for such a large-scale drill (Morristown Patch, 2011).

    Title: New Jersey Holds Anthrax Attack Simulation
    Date: May 18, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Officials from several New Jersey counties came together for what was called the “4077 POD Exercise” that simulated a hurricane, pandemic flu and anthrax situation.

    The drill took place at Morris County’s Craigmeur Recreation Complex and brought together members of health departments from Sussex, Passaic, Morris and Warren counties; health departments from Paterson, Denville, West Milford, Lincoln Park and Washington Township; and members of Medical Reserve Corps and Community Emergency Response Teams, Chatham Patch reports.

    In the scenario, a white powder identified as anthrax was found in an emergency room and at a shelter and a vaccine clinic was converted to a mass distribution clinic to protect residents of the shelter from anthrax.

    “This is the side of public health that no one sees,” Herbert Yardley, a Sussex County health officer said, according to Chatham Patch.

    One hundred members of the groups acted as storm victims and more than 100 responders performed the vaccinations and other treatments. The goal was to vaccinate all 100 victims in 60 minutes. Some of the victims were instructed to act in a manner that could slow or disrupt the procedure to give it a more realistic feel.

    The drill tested the agencies’ ability to get distribution sites up and running within 12 hours because the federal Centers for Disease Control has the ability to deliver medicine to any point in the country within 12 hours. Planning for the drill began in December (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Michigan County Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: May 30, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A full-scale emergency response drill for an anthrax attack was recently held in Bay County, Michigan, to test the preparedness of first responders and hospital staff.

    The disaster test began at the Bay County Medical Care facility in Hampton Township and ended in the hospital’s emergency room, according to ABCLocal.go.com.

    The simulation began with an anthrax exposure that pushed the county’s firefighters, first responders, hospital staff and even the bus system to move the care center’s patients quickly to the Bay Regional Medical Center.

    Volunteers playing the role of patients were decontaminated and given other medical treatment, as they would be if the emergency were real. Twenty-eight people were transported and treated during the day’s drill.

    "They have 192 patients that are basically wheelchair-bound," Randy VanDenBoom, Hampton Township fire chief, said, according to ABCLocal.go.com.

    "I believe in an all-hazards approach to planning, which many emergency managers do," Chris Izworski, the Bay County emergency coordinator said, ABCLocal.go.com reports. "So if you're prepared for this, we'll hopefully be prepared for this next event. And it was, it was topical…you saw one of the hospitals in Joplin what happened down there."

    By most accounts, the simulation was conducted smoothly, but there were some communications problems. These should be corrected when the county switches to a new radio system in the near future.

    Willa Rousseau, the simulation’s incident commander, said the county’s first responders are prepared for a real emergency.

    "You need to have a plan in place. You need to know what you're going to do and the protocols that will be followed in the event of a true emergency," Rousseau said, according to ABCLocal.go.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2011)

    Title: Alberta, Canada, Hosts CBRN Training Course
    Date: June 2, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Lakeland College’s Emergency Training Center in Alberta, Canada, recently hosted the school’s first ever regional chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives training course.

    The regional educational program was part of a partnership between the government of Alberta and the Canadian Emergency Management College to offer training to first responders from Alberta and Saskatchewan. After two weeks of training, the students tested their skills during a staged scenario, the Vermillion Standard reports.

    In the staged scenario, students taking a chemistry class were unknowingly enlisted in a professor’s plot to develop a nerve agent that he spilled, contaminating anything and everyone in the building.

    "Today, we've put 25 live casualties on them and they won't know until they open the doors and see them running out of the building," Susan Hughes, who spent 24 years with the Canadian Military before working as an emergency instructor at CEM,C said, according to the Vermillion Standard. "Now they have to deal with casualties who are moaning, injured, blinded and it changes their focus because they need to use caution and be very safe. From what the first responders detect, what they see in signs and symptoms, they should be able to go back to command and say we're dealing with a nerve agent."

    The students were observed during the drill using cameras set up throughout the building by instructors. Teams diagnosed the situation room by room. At the end of the scenario, bomb technicians had to diagnose and defuse a suitcase bomb.

    "For me it's about the students because I believe the better prepared the first responder is, the better they take care of themselves, but they also take care of you and I," Hughes said, according to the Vermillion Standard. "They are there to protect the Canadian public, so the more prepared we can make them the happier I am" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: BARDA To Exercise Option On Botulism Antitoxin
    Date: June 6, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, the agency within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services that administers biodefense stockpiling contracts, will exercise options under a botulism antitoxin supply contract with Cangene Corporation.

    The options are expected to generate $61 million in additional revenue over the new few years for Cangene, one of Canada’s first and largest biopharmaceutical companies. The delivery schedule for the botulism antitoxin will be extended to 2018 for the approximately 80,000 doses that remain.

    By exercising the options, the total contract value for Cangene rises from $362 million to $423 million, for which Cangene has already recognized approximately $200.1 million.

    "This is an extremely positive step," Michael Graham, acting president and CEO of Cangene, said. "Not only does this significantly increase the total revenue value of this contract, it also indicates that BARDA is adopting a strategy of extending these types of contracts to replenish supplies of biodefense products. As the supplier for three products in the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile, that's an indication we are happy to see. It also provides for a consistent addition to our revenue stream for the next seven years."

    In addition to the botulism antitoxin, the company has also introduced two other items to the U.S. Strategic National Stockpile – an anthrax immune globulin and a vaccinia immune globulin, which counteracts certain complications that can occur from smallpox vaccination (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Wisconsin Hospital To Simulate Biological Attack
    Date: June 9, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Two Wisconsin hospitals will conduct a June emergency drill to test their level of readiness to conduct major decontaminations in the event of a biological disaster, such as a terrorist attack.

    The Oconomowoc and Waukesha memorial hospitals are currently preparing for a homeland defense training operation called Red Dragon 2011, which will test the coordination between Wisconsin-area hospitals and the U.S. military, according to LivingLakeCountry.com.

    Military personnel intend to test a wide variety of their emergency equipment, including decontamination tents and sprayers that they will use to treat volunteer victims. They will also practice decontaminating vehicles on-site.

    "People get nervous when they see military vehicles driving around and soldiers in uniform," Doug Birlingmair, an emergency preparedness and hazardous material specialist, said, according to LivingLakeCountry.com. "We will let neighbors know it is an exercise."

    The exercise is expected to involve at least 185 members of the U.S. Army Reserve and dozens of hospital workers.

    The two hospitals are required to conduct emergency drills twice a year as part of an accreditation process, with one simulating a lack of available community resources. The results of the exercises shape the hospitals’ future protocols and procedures.

    Red Dragon 2011 is the first time in two years that the military has trained with civilian health care operators in Southeastern Wisconsin.

    This year’s drill, according to Birlingmair, will include the use of biological integrated detection systems. BIDS give the participants the ability to detect and analyze the presence of threatening contaminants in the air (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Taos, N.M., Simulates White Powder Event
    Date: June 9, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: On Wednesday morning, officials with the town of Taos, N.M., completed a “white powder drill” in which police and other officials simulated the delivery of a substance used in biological terrorist attacks.

    The simulation entailed the delivery of simulated ricin powder to the executive offices at the town hall, Taos News reports. Law enforcement officials then began work on shelter notification, incident management and intelligence sharing before a training session with the 64th Civil Support Team and the New Mexico Office of the Medical Investigator on Thursday.

    "Law enforcement will be evaluated on shelter-in place notification, inner and outer perimeter control (outer perimeter simulated), on-site incident management and unified command, and finally intelligence and information sharing among responders,” Eletha Trujillo with Taos County said in an e-mail, according to Taos News.

    Trujillo said that there will be an evaluation of the Taos County Office of Emergency Management for their response to the simulation.

    "Evaluators will offer comments, which will be compiled in an After Action Report and Improvement Plan with recommendations for future training, equipment, and response procedures," Trujillo said, according to Taos News. "This allows us to conduct a gap analysis, which further provides us the ability to direct our future federal grant funding requests based on need versus want" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Bioterror Drill Preparing Queens For The Worst
    Date: June 9, 2011
    Source: Queens Tribune

    Abstract:
    As fears of anthrax tore through the country in late 2001, cities were put on alert that a biological or chemical attack could be just as deadly - if not more so - than an act of violence at the hands of a terrorist.

    In New York, the Office of Emergency Management stepped up its plans and last week responded to thousands of patients suffering from a malicious outbreak of anthrax in a two-night terror drill designed to test Queens’ response to a massive biological or chemical threat.

    Volunteers flooded into Hillcrest High School in order to take part in PODEX, a biological terror reaction drill by the OEM. Approximately 100 exercise participants were tapped to aid the distribution of medication, while volunteers numbering in the thousands acted as patients with fictional symptoms.

    “I hope that we never have to do any of this for real, but it is important to be prepared for it,” OEM Commissioner Joseph F. Bruno said June 2, the second night of the drill. The drill was held in four Points of Dispensing, or PoDs, as OEM officials called them. Though only four PoDs were opened - in Jamaica, Rego Park, Kew Gardens and Hollis - for the drill, the OEM says that up to 204 distribution points could be opened in an emergency.

    Outbreak
    The two-day drill began Wednesday and continued Thursday night, kicking off when city health monitoring equipment “discovered” anthrax in the borough. On the first day of the drill, the OEM requested medical supplies from the federal government and training was held for PoD supervisors.

    The second day was when the system was put to the test as mock distribution points were set up, along with proper security, public information, and transportation issues that would possibly arise in an emergency event.

    Highland Avenue, the street on which the Hillcrest High School is located, was fully stocked with emergency response vehicles, police, and an enormous line of exercise volunteers, which stretched down the avenue.

    Handling The Sick
    After waiting outside for nearly two hours, volunteers filed into the four-part facility set up in the school’s gymnasium. The four parts included triage, medical evaluation, dispensing and an in-house pharmacy. Given slips of paper with specific roles to play and a number of different symptoms, volunteers were first diagnosed in triage and then given the proper medication from facility workers.

    Patient roles were given fully at random, with old men portraying 2-year-old girls and women acting as older men. In addition, volunteer patients were told to act out different emotions in order to train facility workers to handle a panic situation.

    “In a real situation, emotions will be high, and we are training the best we can for that,” said Bruno.

    Part of the Solution
    Volunteer patients got involved with the drill in a number of ways. Fireman Nelson Roman was recruited by the fire department, but he had not known what he was in for. “They told us that it was going to be a bio-terror medication dispersal drill, but I didn’t know the magnitude of it,” said Roman, who portrayed a young child as well as a family member. “I didn’t think so many cops and paramedics would be taking part.”

    Many of the exercise participants had backgrounds in health care and some have taken part in previous exercises. An orthopedic surgeon, who did not disclose his name, served as a medical evaluator and said that this is his second time participating in the exercise. The surgeon noted that he has seen improvement in the program.

    “It’s important for us to keep doing it over and over again to work out the bugs, but we’re responding quicker than last time,” he said.

    How Does Queens Respond?
    Barbara Stuchinski, co-chair of the CB 6 Community Emergency Response Team, helped dispense medication at PS 99 in Kew Gardens. She said that her location had a limited number of police and firemen, but that the exercise ran smoothly.

    “We had CERT teams come in from all five boroughs to help out,” Stuchinski said. “These are worthwhile exercises because it is important to know where to go, what to do, and how to react in a real emergency.”

    In a real bio-terror emergency, OEM officials said that they would make use of mass media as a means to inform the public of how they can receive proper help. According to the OEM, the effects of bio-terror is a slow process which happens over many days, so there is time to notify borough residents of ways they can receive help. The OEM also provides publications on its Web site, which lays out procedural steps that the public can take in all types of emergencies.

    Is It Enough?
    Dan Andrews, a spokesman for Queens Borough President Helen Marshall, said one of the major concerns of a bioterror attack would be the possible lack of distribution sites. Another problem that Andrews pointed out would be communication barriers due to the diverse population of Queens. “The availability of interpreters would certainly be a concern with the great number of languages spoken in the borough,” he said.

    New York Hospital Queens, however, is a center that has had very extensive training in bioterrorism reaction. Because NYHQ is a Level 1 trauma center, it takes part in advanced training methods.

    “There were about 50 to 60 trainees in the bioterrorism lectures, and we learned ways to break language barriers if this ever happened,” said NYHQ spokeswoman Cynthia Bacon, a certified participant in the training. “Through hand signals and basic generic communication, you can get the message across. It was a very beneficial class because of the diversity within Queens.”

    Bacon added that she and the other trainees received cultural sensitivity training in addition to communication tactics. “There are cultural barriers to be aware of. For instance, if we need to make use of decontamination showers, it is important for us to respect the different religions and cultures of the people we’re helping.”

    In Good Hands
    Stuchinski pointed to the West Nile scare that occurred two summers ago as a demonstration of the city’s response to an emergency. She praised then-Mayor Rudy Giuliani’s reaction efforts in the situation, opening hospitals that same day to allot necessary care. Stuchinski also noted that Giuliani did well by allowing the OEM to take the lead in such situations throughout his mayoral tenure.

    “The OEM has more expertise than other city departments, I feel better when I see them at emergency calls,” she said. “When they’re on the scene, you have confidence in them, and they guide us in the right direction.”

    “As an agency, we have a number of press releases already in the can for many types of emergencies, from hurricanes to terrorist attacks,” said OEM spokesperson Jarrod Bernstein. “Obviously, we cannot be fully prepared for all predicaments, but we do our best” (Queens Tribune, 2011).

    Title: Alabama City Simulates Anthrax Event
    Date: June 13, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The U.S. Army and the Pell City Fire Department in Pell City, Ala., have teamed up to train for disaster preparedness to ensure their hazmat teams would be ready for a real disaster.

    The teams trained for a decontamination process, also known as a de-con process, during which the firefighters found what was thought to be anthrax during a house fire, CBS 42 reports.

    "We found out we were in a position where there were hazardous materials released during the fire," Thomas Graves, a Pell City firefighter, said, according to CBS 42. "At that point, we set up a hazmat team and called in different professionals and things of that nature."

    By uniting these two teams in the drill, both groups have the ability to learn how the other one operates. The drill also trains both groups to be prepared for such a situation in reality.

    "We want to learn what not to do," Major Jeff Weir of the 415th Chemical Brigade, said, according to CBS 42. "We also want to learn about the unexpected, so if something does happen, we're covering all our bases."

    Weir said that the partnership between the local fire departments and the military can improve the success of their emergency response.

    "You never know really when something like this is going to happen," Graves said, according to CBS 42. "So you just have to train when you can" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Valuable Lessons Learned From Bay Area Bioterrorism Drill
    Date: June 14, 2011
    Source: CBS News

    Abstract: Contra Costa was one of several Northern California counties participating in an anthrax screening exercise last week. Public health experts set up a website so residents could get information about what to do if exposed to a potentially deadly chemical or infectious disease.

    Several thousand people participated, but emergency officials have since struggled to assess the effectiveness of conducting a regional drill such as this.

    The crux of the drill – public health experts set up a website so residents could access information in the event of an emergency. During the exercise, participants were asked to use the website to find out how they could get medication from dispensing location to counter-act the symptoms.

    “We did get responses from 14 counties throughout the region, we also did get some responses from counties outside of the region and other states as well,” explained Amy Pine with the San Francisco Public Health Department. “We were happy that the website stayed up and functioning, it didn’t crash. But, we’ll be working on tweeking some things in this time of non-emergency (CBS News, 2011).

    Title: Indiana County Simulates Areosolized Anthrax Attack
    Date: June 17, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Emergency responders in Montgomery County, Indiana, recently staged an exercise aimed at preparing for a terrorist attack using aerosolized anthrax.

    The drill, which took place at the local Crawfordsville High School, simulated a scenario in which someone stole the county sanitarian’s aerosol truck and used the equipment to spray anthrax at various locations in the area, according to ThePaper24-7.com.

    “In a real world event, we would not have time to prepare,” Shari Harrington, the county sanitarian, said, ThePaper24-7.com reports. “A lot of people have plans, but they don’t take them off the shelf to review them.”

    Harrington also said that the drill was important practice in the event that something similar to the staged occurrence actually happened.

    For the exercise, members of the public volunteered to play victims of the anthrax attack. They were taken to the high school, which served as one of the county’s designated three points of dispersion.

    “Any opportunity to participate, we do,” Crawfordsville Fire Chief Eric Small said, ThePaper24-7.com reports.

    Small added that he felt it was important to prepare for a disaster because ,in the event of a real anthrax attack, local responders would need to be self sufficient to handle the emergency. He said the fire department trains for emergency events almost every day (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Florida County Simulates Large-Scale Anthrax Attack
    Date: June 22, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A Florida county public health department recently conducted a large-scale disaster drill, giving first responders an opportunity to test their preparations against an anthrax bioterror attack.

    Operation MedStock, conducted by the Pinellas County Health Department, included simulated angry mobs, fainting citizens and shouting matches, according to BringingHomeCommunityNews.com.

    “The point of doing exercises like this…is to learn what the problems are and fix them before we have a real emergency,” Stephanie Anspaugh, the planning and logistics coordinator for the program, said, BringingHomeCommunityNews.com reports.

    The program’s 70 members and approximately 40 volunteers conducted the point of dispensing exercise at the Osceola High School. The anthrax attack was simulated at Tropicana Field, the home of the Tampa Bay Rays baseball team, according to TBNWeekly.com.

    Anspaugh said the dispensing team’s goal was to treat up to 40,000 people every hour and the entire population of the county – one million people – within a 48 hour timeframe.

    “The last time we did this was about three years ago,” Anspaugh said, BringingHomeCommunityNews.com reports. “Ideally, we want to have drills about every two years. We want to be prepared as much as possible.”

    The Pinellas program is one of several in the nation that has been trained under the U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency’s National Incident Management System (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Israel Simulates Chemical, Missile Attacks
    Date: June 23, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Israeli military, government and rescue services, along with 80 municipalities and millions of civilians, recently participated in a simulated drill of a simultaneous mass missile strike across the country on Wednesday.

    During the drill, the entire population was instructed to seek cover, CRI English reports. The test was part of the week-long "Turning Point 5" drill.

    The scenario simulated the 13th day of a full-scale war after approximately 7,000 missiles had been lobbed toward Israel by their foes, hitting Jerusalem, Tel Aviv and other major population centers. This resulted in the simulated deaths of hundreds and left thousands wounded, Matan Vilnai, the Home Front Command minister, who lead the government's civilian responses to the mass attack, told CRI English.

    Police and Israeli Defense Forces soldiers, as well as civilian first responders, dressed in chemical warfare protection suits to simulate mass intake and triage of citizens suffering from chemical weapons and burns.

    "In last year's exercise, about 47 percent of the population entered protected areas," Col. Efi Mishov, head of the Home Front Command's Population Department, said, according to CRI English. "The past several years have seen a moderate increase in exercise participation, and this trend is expected to continue this year, but not in drastic numbers."

    As part of the drill, sirens rang once to signal that it was part of a drill. Sirens malfunctioned in several cities, going off twice, scaring residents who thought it was a real attack. The government security cabinet met for the first time in a secret underground bunker in the Jerusalem area as part of the drill.

    While the exercise was meant to ready the populace for the worst and to comprehensively synchronize crisis management responses to a rocket attack, it was also meant to warn potential foes that an attack like this would cause little damage to a government, public and military protected and ready for the worst.

    "Our enemies know perfectly well that if they attack us, we will strike them with very tough blows, but we must prepare," Vilnai said, according to CRI English. "Because they have the capacity to fire missiles and rockets at all of our territory" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Army Set For Large Disaster Response Exercise
    Date: June 23, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A large disaster response exercise planned by U.S. Army North will take place throughout southern Indiana and northern Kentucky between August 16 and August 28 to train federal military forces for CBRN incidents.

    The Vibrant Response 12 and 12A planning conference in Camp Atterbury, Ind., on June 23 was the last chance for those planning the exercise to assemble. The event, which is the fourth field training event in the Vibrant Response series, will help federal forces train in their role in supporting civilian consequent managers in response to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents.

    The 5,200 person Defense CBRN Response Force replaces the 4,500 person CBRN Consequence Management Response Force. It is designed to faster provide more life-saving capability to an incident.

    “We have forged a strong training partnership with the Indiana National Guard and the people who run Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex,” Paul Condon, Army North’s lead Vibrant Response exercise planner, said. “We’ve worked with them to add several new venues at both Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in order to accommodate the larger DCRF.”

    Organizations participating in the exercise include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Fort Knox Fire Department, the Army’s 9th Area Medical Laboratory, National Guard elements from California, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Minnesota and Illinois, and Verizon Wireless.

    “Verizon will be using Vibrant Response to train their crews to repair equipment in a contaminated environment,” Clark Wigley, the Army North joint exercise planner, said. “They also are providing some of their mock equipment for the military to transport.”

    The DCRF and the similar Command and Control CBRN Response Element A group were created as part of the Department of Defense’s transformation of the nation’s tiered CBRN response enterprise. The units will assume their mission Oct. 1 (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Army Reserve Tests CBRN Preparedness
    Date: June 24, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Army Reserve units have joined forces with emergency responders fin five states to participate in the chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear consequence drill known as Exercise Red Dragon 2011.

    The exercise began in 2000 in an effort to develop, train and assess the capabilities of Army Reserve forces to be used in the Defense Support of Civilian Authorities. Over 2,000 participants were involved in the drill, which is directed by the Army Reserve Command.

    “This year’s exercise involves over 2,000 chemical, medical, logistics and signal Soldiers over several states,” Col. Patricia Carlson, commander of the 415th Chemical Brigade, said. “Our support and our soldiers conducting this exercise come from throughout the United States.”

    Red Dragon 11 was conducted in Alabama, Illinois, Georgia, South Carolina and Wisconsin. The exercises prepared soldiers to assist local authorities with large scale disaster that they would not be able to handle on their own.

    “The Red Dragon exercise is important because it will give the civilian sector an opportunity to work with Reserve units so we may be able to work together as one unit,” Mary Casey-Lockyer, an emergency preparedness and response coordinator for Northwest Hospital in Arlington Heights, Ill., said.

    Soldiers acted as casualties to aid the emergency responders with their preparedness training. Units of the Army Reserve train to maintain a high level of preparedness since they can be called at anytime to serve the nation in a civil or combat capacity.

    “This exercise is important because it gives Army Reservist and civilian emergency responders an opportunity to unify and work together in the event of any type of catastrophe,” Lt. Col. Timothy Dawson, the commander of the 472nd Chemical Battalion, said. “Preparedness is not just for us, it is for the communities as well" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Virginia County Simulates Bioterror Attack
    Date: June 27, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Volunteers and health officials in Fairfax County, Va., set up a vaccination clinic on Saturday to practice for possible pandemics or terror attacks after developing new procedures following last year's H1N1 scare.

    The exercise simulated a mid-scale response requiring 10 vaccination centers to be set up in schools throughout the county, WTOP reports. The drill started with logistical work on Friday to get materials for setup distributed to Kilmer Middle School in Vienna, Va., and Glasgow Middle School in Alexandria, Va.

    "This is the type of plan that we would hopefully not have to break out unless there was a vaccine shortage or a new strain of influenza that required us to respond in this way," Marc Barbieri, the emergency management coordinator for the Fairfax County Health Department, said, according to WTOP.

    There were minor hiccups at both sites such as timing issues, volunteers requiring some time to figure out the walkie-talkies, responsibilities that had to be reshuffled and misplaced forms. The Health Department said that's what practice is for and that, overall, everything went as planned.

    "Our concern is… are we able to set up multiple sites, get the materials out, get the staff out, and get them ready to open in a timely fashion?" Barbieri said, according to WTOP. "We use these types of clinics for all sorts of emergency responses. If we have to do an anthrax response, god forbid, or any other terrorism incident, it's the same kind of model just some different variabilities. So, the more we test it the better we get at it."

    Barbieri said that plans will be altered to reflect any new lessons learned from the exercise (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Army Set For Large CBRN Disaster Response Exercise
    Date: June 29, 2011
    Source: Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A large disaster response exercise planned by U.S. Army North will take place throughout southern Indiana and northern Kentucky between August 16 and August 28 to train federal military forces for CBRN incidents.

    The Vibrant Response 12 and 12A planning conference in Camp Atterbury, Ind., on June 23 was the last chance for those planning the exercise to assemble. The event, which is the fourth field training event in the Vibrant Response series, will help federal forces train in their role in supporting civilian consequent managers in response to chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents.

    The 5,200 person Defense CBRN Response Force replaces the 4,500 person CBRN Consequence Management Response Force. It is designed to faster provide more life-saving capability to an incident.

    “We have forged a strong training partnership with the Indiana National Guard and the people who run Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex,” Paul Condon, Army North’s lead Vibrant Response exercise planner, said. “We’ve worked with them to add several new venues at both Camp Atterbury and Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex in order to accommodate the larger DCRF.”

    Organizations participating in the exercise include the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the Fort Knox Fire Department, the Army’s 9th Area Medical Laboratory, National Guard elements from California, Indiana, Michigan, West Virginia, Minnesota and Illinois, and Verizon Wireless.

    “Verizon will be using Vibrant Response to train their crews to repair equipment in a contaminated environment,” Clark Wigley, the Army North joint exercise planner, said. “They also are providing some of their mock equipment for the military to transport.”

    The DCRF and the similar Command and Control CBRN Response Element A group were created as part of the Department of Defense’s transformation of the nation’s tiered CBRN response enterprise. The units will assume their mission Oct. 1 (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Taiwan Simulates Biological, Nuclear Attacks
    Date: June 30, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Taiwan recently held a major anti-terrorism exercise simulating potential nuclear and biological attacks.

    Over 1,200 personnel from several law enforcement agencies and military units took part in the drills, which lasted over two hours and tested the authorities’ command and communications capabilities and response to unconventional warfare, according to NDTV.com.

    “The main aim of this drill is to test the capabilities of every administrative unit to respond to a terrorist attack,” President Ma Ying-jeou said, TaiwanToday.com reports. “Although Taiwan has not been a target of terrorism, every unit must map out response plans and practice implementing them in simulated drills so as to discourage terrorists from ever attempting to attack Taiwan and to ensure they do not succeed if they do try."

    During the scenario, terrorists placed a dirty bomb on an oil tanker anchored in the harbor, which they then ignited. Also during the attack, enemy forces took control of a bus and demanded the release of a captured terrorist leader held by Taiwanese forces.

    After receiving reports of the hostage situation and the potential bomb threat, units from the Coast Guard, National Police Agency and Military Police were dispatched and took control of the situation. They successfully rescued the hostages and cleaned up the explosion site, according to ChinaPost.com (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Disaster Drill Teaches Preparedness
    Date
    : July 1, 2011
    Source:
    Houma Today

    Abstract: A plague has struck the bayou region, and 22,000 people need to get in and out of Dumas Auditorium in Houma in the next 36 hours to receive life-saving medications. How do you do it?

    Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing, or BISCO, brought representatives of local churches together in Houma Wednesday and Thursday to learn how to quickly set up and staff a distribution center that would get medications to locals in the event of a health emergency.

    Residents used basic math to calculate transportation needs and worked together to model how they would transform Dumas Auditorium into a medication-distribution point with clothespins, markers and colored paper.

    That included thinking about everything from parking needs to how to handle patients with special needs, all while working to get thousands of people in and out of the center in three minutes or less, said Al Russell, a quality assurance coordinator at Options or Independence and Louisiana Spirit and a participant in the workshop.

    “We’re figuring out how we can get the people assembled and how they’ll flow through the auditorium,” said Donald Bogen, an organizer with BISCO. “How we can prevent bottlenecks and make sure all the people get to where they need to go.”

    The two-day course, taught by the Texas Engineering Extension Service at Texas A&M University, teaches businesses and churches how to set up medical-distribution points during a major disaster such as a bioterrorism attack or an epidemic, said Paul Landry, regional administrator for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Region 3 office, which oversees Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Life-saving medication would have to be delivered to a large population in a short period of time. State and federal health officials would set up official “points of dispensing” in community centers to distribute the medicine.

    “But those locations would become overwhelmed when you have everyone seeking medications,” Landry said.

    To help get out medicine faster and reduce stress, Landry said the state offers to train churches and businesses to set up their own closed points of dispensing to give medicine to church members, employees and their families during times of disaster.

    “Getting our churches involved takes more people off the main highways and can help us get some of these facilities down the bayou,” said Bonita Boudoin, a community organizer with BISCO.

    Gloria Darcy, a St. Bernadette Catholic Church parishioner and volunteer with BISCO, said she worked with the Small Business Administration during Hurricane Andrew and as a volunteer during Hurricane Katrina.

    “This will definitely cut down on some of the chaos,” she said.

    Chris Mundorf, a public health graduate student at Tulane, said he was impressed at how invested Terrebonne residents were in disaster training.

    “When you live in the basin, being prepared must just be a fact of life,” he said (Houma Today, 2011).

    Title: Anthrax Attack Simulation Held In Florida
    Date: July 7, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Dozens of people pretended to have been infected with anthrax last week during a mock scenario at Lake Receptions by the Lake County Health Department in Mount Dora, Fla., to train health workers.

    An anthrax release was simulated at the popular Leesburg Bikefest. The anthrax spread throughout the county and infected residents. A medical staff consisting of about 20 nurses and medical staff members had 48 hours to get medicine to everyone in the county, represented by approximately 60 volunteer victims, the Orlando Sentinel reports.

    Pam Christian, the public-health preparedness planner for the health department, told the Orland Sentinel that because there aren’t enough medical employees to reach out to the entire county, volunteers are needed. In 2009, public schools and the health department organized over a dozen swine flu immunization stations, many of which were staffed by volunteers.

    "The reality is with the evolving times, you have to be able to adapt to those things," Sean Loughlin, a county disaster-assistance coordinator, said, according to the Orlando Sentinel. "You can't ignore it. It's a known vulnerability."

    As part of the exercise, volunteers lined up inside Lake Receptions and went through registration, evaluation, medication and form collection. Some were given pretend symptoms and were encouraged to fake accidents.

    Gary Rice, a local 20-year-old paramedic student said that the scenario went well.

    "I think it's pretty important because in a big situation, people need to be organized and know what they're doing," Rice said, according to the Orland Sentinel (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Naval Research Center Conducts Rapid-Response Exercise
    Date: July 8, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: AVI BioPharma, Inc., and the Naval Research Center recently announced the successful completion of a rapid-response exercise conducted by the Joint Project Manager Transformational Medical Technologies.

    The JPM-TMT, run by the U.S. Defense Advanced Threat Reduction Agency, conducted the operation using two undisclosed bacterial and viral threats. Previously, AVI completed similar exercises against pandemic H1N1 influenza in 2009 and the dengue virus in 2010, according to Finance.Yahoo.com.

    The exercise was considered a success for AVI’s continued development of a credible rapid –response capability using its RNA-based therapeutic technology against pathogenic threats.

    In a total of 18 days, AVI conceived, designed and manufactured two novel RNA-based drug candidates, one against a gram negative bacterial target and one against a viral target.

    AVI and JPM-TMT are participating in an ongoing research effort to refine a rapid–response capability that includes the ability to counter a real world emerging infectious disease or a major biological threat.

    "By addressing two pathogenic threats simultaneously, including for the first time a bacterial threat, this exercise further tested AVI's demonstrated ability to rapidly design therapeutics against emerging viral and bacterial threats using our PMO-based platform chemistries, and builds on our other successful rapid response exercises," Chris Garabedian, AVI's CEO and president, said, Finance.Yahoo.com reports. "We look forward to supporting JPM-TMT and DTRA to refine the rapid-response capability and also to potentially broaden our collaborative efforts with NMRC through future contracts or a Cooperative Research and Development Agreement (CRADA) for the development of RNA-based therapeutics for the treatment of infectious diseases, including both viral and bacterial threats" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Georgia Holds Three Day Bioterror Decontamination Course
    Date: July 8, 2011
    Source: Bio Prep Watch


    Abstract: The Tift Regional Medical Center in Tifton, Ga., recently held a three day decontamination trainer course to train personnel in procedures to be used during an emergency biological contamination scenario.

    The trainer course instructed 29 participants in Code Orange training techniques, which refers to biological contamination and any type of accident that results in chemical or radiation exposure. The state Department of Public Health and Emergency Preparedness sponsored the event to help local medical centers meet a new state requirement that decontamination teams must be ready to receive their first patient in 20 minutes or less, the Tifton Gazette reports.

    “There are 10,000 people in danger at the stadium,” Eddie Senkbeil, the emergency department resource coordinator at Tift Regional Medical Center, said to the trainees at the UGA Conference Center, according to the Tifton Gazette. “There is a white powdery substance that could be anthrax everywhere at the football stadium during the Tift County vs. Valdosta football game. We need help now!”

    Brandi Newman, a clinical educator in the ER of TRMC was designated in charge of the hypothetical operation.

    “It was a difficult job,” Newman said, according to the Tifton Gazette. “The hardest part for me was keeping up with everyone’s times in-and-out of the suits, but I remained calm, which is what you have to do in that type of situation.”

    The course was led by Hot Zone USA, emergency response and Occupational Safety Health Administration training specialists. All 29 participants in the course are now considered trainers who can share the new decontamination methods for a Code Orange with their hospitals and fire departments.

    “The purpose of the program is for the hospitals in the state to come together to learn these new methods so that it will be possible in the future to train each other on the new methods that make decontamination easier,” Senkbeil said, according to the Tifton Gazette. “It is more cost effective that way” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Kansas County Health Department Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: July 22, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Finney County Health Department recently held an anthrax attack simulation in Garden City, Kansas, to help train area public safety agencies in emergency management.

    During the simulation, Garden City police officers, firefighters, state and county emergency management personnel and emergency medical technicians responded to an emergency call saying that a group of students had found an envelope filled with white powder, according to GCTelegram.com.

    With temperatures hovering near 100 degrees, the first responders acted immediately. Firefighters wearing hazmat suits evacuated volunteer victims from the building and began decontaminating them. Police officers cordoned off the area to prevent curious bystanders from being hurt. Ambulances began taking anthrax stricken victims to the emergency room of a local hospital. All of the 42 people present at the scene were considered to be casualties.

    "It was the health department's first exercise that involved all the area public safety agencies," Ashley Goss, a FCHD administrator, said, GCTelegram.com reports. "We found a lot of pluses, a lot of places where we have done well. And we have noted areas in which we can improve. It was a very successful exercise.

    "We had a first responder who did have a problem. It was heat-related."

    The heat casualty was treated quickly and no other major problems were reported. Goss noted, however, the need for continuous communication among all agencies responding to emergencies (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Organization Of American States Conducts Bioterror Simulation
    Date: October 31, 2011
    Source: Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Organization of American States recently conducted a bioterrorist attack simulation in Santiago, Chile.

    The drill, funded by the Canadian government, took place at Santiago’s Arturo Benitez international airport, according to SantiagoTimes.cl. The airport was chosen because of the large amount of air traffic that flows through it, making the city highly susceptible to airborne contagions.

    Six international agencies from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay took part in the exercise, along with 23 law enforcement agencies from Chile.

    “This is being done to help us prepare formal plans or to improve emergency management and crisis for such an attack, and to promote inter-agency coordination,” Chile’s Undersecretary of the Interior Rodrigo Ubilla said, SantiagoTimes.cl reports.

    Throughout the drill, which lasted several days, a series of suspicious packages containing what appeared to be Yersinia Pestis, or the bubonic plague, were left throughout the airport. Similar packages were also left at a high-rise hotel in Santiago. The training consisted of at least one false alarm when a plane carrying a sick passenger heads for the airport.

    Two days after the first “attack,” the virus appeared to have spread throughout Chile and its neighboring states. In the simulation’s final stage, the participating agencies had to coordinate an international effort to contain it.

    The mock attack in Santiago is the first of three major exercises planned by the OAS. The next will take place in March.

    The participating states are expected to meet to discuss overall strategies for containing an attack and planning for the additional exercises immediately after the current one ends.

    “The meeting will have to do with the creation of a comprehensive public policy that addresses complex issues of our time,” Ubilla said, according to SantiagoTimes.cl. “The issues will require specific protocols and clear definitions in terms of chains of command” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Noble County Runs Bioterror Drill
    Date: June 25, 2011
    Source: KPC News

    Abstract: The Noble County Health Department and Noble County Emergency Management Agency worked together Friday to deal with an “anthrax attack” at a Little League game at Owen Park in Albion. If you know Owen Park has no baseball diamonds, it’s easy to figure out the attack wasn’t real. But the state-required drill to address what would happen in a bioterrorism attack Friday was real. The purpose of the drill is to test what would happen in the event of an...(KPC News, 2011)

    Title: Disaster Drill Teaches Preparedness
    Date
    : July 1, 2011
    Source:
    Houma Today

    Abstract: A plague has struck the bayou region, and 22,000 people need to get in and out of Dumas Auditorium in Houma in the next 36 hours to receive life-saving medications. How do you do it?

    Bayou Interfaith Shared Community Organizing, or BISCO, brought representatives of local churches together in Houma Wednesday and Thursday to learn how to quickly set up and staff a distribution center that would get medications to locals in the event of a health emergency.

    Residents used basic math to calculate transportation needs and worked together to model how they would transform Dumas Auditorium into a medication-distribution point with clothespins, markers and colored paper.

    That included thinking about everything from parking needs to how to handle patients with special needs, all while working to get thousands of people in and out of the center in three minutes or less, said Al Russell, a quality assurance coordinator at Options or Independence and Louisiana Spirit and a participant in the workshop.

    “We’re figuring out how we can get the people assembled and how they’ll flow through the auditorium,” said Donald Bogen, an organizer with BISCO. “How we can prevent bottlenecks and make sure all the people get to where they need to go.”

    The two-day course, taught by the Texas Engineering Extension Service at Texas A&M University, teaches businesses and churches how to set up medical-distribution points during a major disaster such as a bioterrorism attack or an epidemic, said Paul Landry, regional administrator for the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals Region 3 office, which oversees Terrebonne and Lafourche parishes. Life-saving medication would have to be delivered to a large population in a short period of time. State and federal health officials would set up official “points of dispensing” in community centers to distribute the medicine.

    “But those locations would become overwhelmed when you have everyone seeking medications,” Landry said.

    To help get out medicine faster and reduce stress, Landry said the state offers to train churches and businesses to set up their own closed points of dispensing to give medicine to church members, employees and their families during times of disaster.

    “Getting our churches involved takes more people off the main highways and can help us get some of these facilities down the bayou,” said Bonita Boudoin, a community organizer with BISCO.

    Gloria Darcy, a St. Bernadette Catholic Church parishioner and volunteer with BISCO, said she worked with the Small Business Administration during Hurricane Andrew and as a volunteer during Hurricane Katrina.

    “This will definitely cut down on some of the chaos,” she said.

    Chris Mundorf, a public health graduate student at Tulane, said he was impressed at how invested Terrebonne residents were in disaster training.

    “When you live in the basin, being prepared must just be a fact of life,” he said (Houma Today, 2011).

    Title: Marines Drill In Japan On CBRN Preparedness
    Date: July 1, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Marines with the 3rd Battalion, 12th Marine Regiment, took part in chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training on June 25 at the East Fuji Maneuver Area in Japan.

    The training familiarized the battalion with how to conduct live-fire artillery operations while dealing with a CBRN threat.

    Battalion commander Lt. Col. Ricardo Miagany described the training as a priority because it incorporated lessons the marines learned during Operation Tomodachi, the U.S. disaster-relief effort following the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in Japan.

    “We were able to support the Japanese people in their time of crisis during Operation Tomodachi,” Christoper I. Kamm, the chief warrant officer and a battalion CBRN officer, said. “Now we are fully capitalizing on the CBRN lessons learned, regarding radiation survey, monitoring and overall contamination awareness. Operation Tomodachi was the first time it was done for real—it wasn’t just a theoretical training evolution.”

    The scenario, created by 2nd Lt. David A. Serrano, the battalion's intelligence officer, tested the ability of marines to conduct combat operations in a contaminated environment. The training also incorporated the opportunity to cooperate with Japanese allies.

    “It gives the Marines the opportunity to train in the environment in which they could potentially fight, should any threat arise,” Serrano said. “It reinforces our alliance with Japan. The Japan Ground Self-Defense Force assists us when we train in their homeland, and, when they see that we are constantly prepared to be that ‘911 force,’ it reminds them that we are still here to help them protect their country."

    Serrano and Kamm both called the training a success.

    “I think the Marines got good training out of it,” Serrano said. “The commanders got to be on the other side of a moving, thinking enemy, and they made the right decisions” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Conn. University To Simulate Anthrax Attack
    Date: Julx 26, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., will host an emergency preparedness anthrax drill on Wednesday using a simulated scenario and volunteer participants.

    Terron Jones of the Bridgeport Health and Social Services Department told NewsBlaze.com that the test scenario will include receiving a report of an anthrax threat at the train station with 10 confirmed cases. The protocol of the scenario would be to provide medication to every city resident.

    "What we know from the tornado we experienced last year, and the wealth of events we see on TV – is that if we are unprepared – unforeseen events can net disastrous outcomes," Kristin duBay-Horton, director of the Health and Social Services for the city of Bridgeport, Conn., said, according to NewsBlaze.com. "This drill will ensure that we are adequately prepared to face any disaster – whether viral, terrorist or otherwise. These kinds of exercises help us educate ourselves, and the public, about what to do and how to do it through simulation so we're ready in case a real disaster strikes. Please join us to learn how to help yourself and your community."

    On hand for the drill will be the Bridgeport and Fairfield police departments and American Medical Response.

    "I have participated in these drills many times, and it's always an incredible experience – whether you participate as a patient or as medical or emergency personnel," Dr. Linda Strong, director of Sacred Heart's RN-BSN nursing program, said, NewsBlaze.com reports (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: CBRN 2011 Challenge Completed
    Date: August 4, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: CBRN Challenge 2011, held at the Center for National Response in Gallagher, W. Va., wrapped up July 22, with 50 warriors representing 10 major commands showcasing their abilities in a variety of CBRN training scenarios.

    "CBRN threat response training is the ultimate challenge between major commands and showcases who is performing at the top of their game," Fred Casale, the Air Force Civil Engineer Agency's emergency management support manager, said. "The complexity of the scenarios that the teams faced this week is very similar to what they would encounter during an actual threat."

    McConnell Air Force Base, Kan., representing Air Mobility Command, took top honors at the event. Each command provided a team comprised of a bioenvironmental engineer officer, two BE technicians and two emergency managers.

    The event is designed to sharpen emergency response procedures and help identify policy and equipment gaps in both the emergency management and bioenvironmental engineer mission sets.

    "At the installation level, the teams train together already and they do exercises together," Chief Master Sgt. Claudette Watler-Hall, the Air Force 'semergency management career field manage, said. "Bringing them here helps us to validate some of the tactics, techniques and procedures that we're teaching them."

    The CNR includes the 2,800 foot long Memorial Tunnel, which provides for realistic training. The facility gives the teams a chance to see real effects of the threats on the equipment and materials they use. The tunnel is also used as a training facility for exercises that range from combating weapons of mass destruction to counterterrorism measures.

    "This training helps continue the cohesive working relationship between the bioenvironmental and emergency management teams," Watler-Hall said. "Having both career fields working and training together ensures a smooth operating environment in which both speak the same language and understand the other's capabilities" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: NIST Coordinating Biothreat Training
    Date: August 4, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The National Institute of Standards and Technology and the U.S. National Guard are coordinating the training of state, local and federal first responders in the proper collection of reliable samples of potential biothreats.

    “The aim of the operation is to provide a training lane that can help standardize the interface between initial local, state and federal responders to make sure everyone gets what they need from a collected sample of suspicious material, including providing a solid chain of custody,” Jayne Morrow, an NIST environmental engineer, said, NIST.gov reports. “Our goal here at NIST is to help integrate standards and training so that everyone from first responders to investigators knows they can rely on that sample.”

    The project, called Operation Vigilant Sample, is intended to assist the 57 National Guard Civil Support Teams around the country that serve as the first wave of federal response to domestic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear emergency incidents. The operation will aid the CSTs by providing consistent training to the first responders they would work with during an emergency, according to NIST.gov.

    “The Operation Vigilant Sample exercises have allowed the various state and federal responders an opportunity to develop their standard operating procedures in a collaborative manner,” Capt. Bryon Marsh of the National Guard Bureau said, NIST.gov reports. “As national guidance standards become available to responders, it is important that we have the opportunity to incorporate them as a community and standardize our response efforts” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Ireland Forces To Train Against Biothreats
    Date: August 8, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A major British electronics company will help train defense forces in Ireland to deal with industrial or terrorist industries involving chemical and biological agents.

    Argon Electronics of Luton, England, won the contract to supply a virtual chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear system to train operatives to deal with hazardous situations, according to the Independent. This year alone, army bomb disposal teams have been called out 14 times to deal with hazardous chemical substances in Ireland.

    On Friday, a highly unstable and dangerous chemical was discovered in a science lab at Ashbourne Community School in Co Meath. The chemical, 2.4 dinitrophenylhydrazine, is potentially explosive and could have blown out the doors and windows of the lab.

    The chemical was discovered during a routine audit of chemicals at the school. Army experts removed the chemical to a nearby waste ground and later carried out a controlled explosion.

    The Army Explosive Ordnance Disposal teams have also been trained to deal with nuclear or biological materials. The British firm was involved in a major U.K. simulation earlier in the year when emergency services needed to deal with the aftermath of a terrorism attack where a radioactive material was released after a plane hijack.

    Similar exercises have been held in Ireland, including Operation Contained Freedom in February in Dublin Port. That scenario involved Army experts, gardai and firemen and dealt with a mock "dirty bomb" – a terrorist weapon that uses conventional explosives to disperse deadly germs or radioactive material (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Soldiers Participate In Vibrant 12 CBRN Attack Exercise
    Date: August 19, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Over 7,000 soldiers, airmen, sailors, marines and civilians have descended upon Camp Atterbury, the Muscatatuck Urban Training Complex and surrounding areas in Indiana to participate in the Vibrant Response 12 exercise.

    The exercise, conducted by U.S. Army North, is the command's largest disaster response exercise to date. It sees multiple agencies prepare federal military forces for their role in response to a catastrophic chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incident in the homeland.

    "If this ever happens in a real world event, we'll be prepared for the worst case scenario, but I hope we never have to do it," Staff Sgt. Chad Francisco, the survey team chief of the 51st CST, said.

    The scenario began with a simulated nuclear blast on Tuesday.

    "This is an urgent message from the Ohio Emergency Management Agency," speakers in the training area blared.
    "This is not a test. Officials confirm that a nuclear explosion has occurred in the Cincinnati area. Police and firefighters are on the ground and more help is coming."

    Cincinnati was actually the southern Indiana training complex and "victims" of the simulated detonation were actually role players.

    "The scenario tests responding forces from the military and how they work together to save lives, relieve suffering and mitigate great property damage," Vince Sharp, the observer controller trainer of Army North, said.

    During the exercise, the DCRF will conduct numerous missions, including decontamination, medical treatment and evacuation, in addition to logistical missions to transport food, water and supplies to victims. There will also be challenges such as setting up communications and clearing debris from the roadways.

    Members of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as local and state emergency responders, are also participating in the exercise, which is scheduled for Aug. 16-28
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: San Diego To Train Postal Works On Bioterror Antibiotic Deliveries
    Date: August 24, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Postal workers in San Diego will soon be trained to deliver emergency antibiotics to all 3.2 million county residents in the event of a bioterrorist attack.

    Jack Walsh, a coordinator for the county's Counterbioterrorism and Preparedness Task Force, said that during a full-scale anthrax attack, antibiotics would need to be delivered to residents within 48 hours from the federal Strategic National Stockpile, KPBS said. During an anthrax attack, the county would get doxycycline and ciprofloxacin antibiotics.

    “Signs and symptoms for anthrax can show as early as 48 hours," Walsh said, according to KPBS. "So the survival rate for anthrax once signs and symptoms have popped up is not very good. If we can get meds delivered, then we can save 98 percent of the people. (Medication) would come to the county’s warehouse where the Postal Service would come and pick it up and take it to their delivery units, load it up into their trucks and deliver it to everybody’s address."

    Each of the postal workers who volunteers for the training would have a security or police escort and be equipped with gloves and a mask. They would be given a supply of emergency medications for their families in advance.

    San Diego is one of five U.S. cities that has been selected for a grant to pay for initial distribution training and exercises.

    "There’s a low probability of a bioterror attack, but a high likelihood of mass fatalities if we’re not prepared," Walsh said, according to KPBS.

    In 2001, anthrax-laced letters that were sent to media companies and congressional offices killed five people
    (Bio Prep Watch).

    Title: Nevada First Responders Trained In Chemical Weapons Response
    Date: August 26, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: In Elko, Nevada, first responders from federal, state, county and local agencies recently participated in a chemical weapons exercise that tested their training in a variety of real-life scenarios.

    At 6 a.m., Nevada Highway Patrol troopers arrived at an accident scene where a victim was pinned under a vehicle. They discovered bystanders there who displayed symptoms of having been exposed to a chemical agent, according ElkoDaily.com.

    The troopers found a broken chemical container at the scene, along with evidence that there was more to the situation than initially expected. Notes and a map found in the wrecked vehicle led the troopers to a recently closed city-owned building that contained a simulated explosive device.

    Nevada Highway Patrol Trooper Jim Stewart said that the training was beneficial for members of his department since they were rarely called to participate in city-based operations that did not include traffic control, ElkoDaily.com reports.

    Members of the Newmont Mine Rescue Team were then called to the building. They donned Hazmat suits and cautiously entered the building, where they planned to analyze and neutralize any chemicals or explosives they found.

    In addition, the Elko County Sheriff’s Office, the Elko Bomb Squad, Elko County ambulance crews and the Elko Fire Department were all on hand to offer support if needed.

    Major David Sellen of the National Guard’s 92nd Civil Support Team called the scenario realistic and not based on any kind of James Bond-type fantasy. Sellen recalled assisting first responders in Las Vegas during a 2008 ricin scare.

    The Civil Support Team is tasked with identifying agents during chemical, biological, radiological or nuclear incidents, according to ElkoDaily.com. They can also provide local agencies with access to high-tech communications and analytical equipment.

    Sellen said the abandoned building was a suitable location to hold the exercise.

    “It’s the shack in the middle of nowhere, the trailer and even the hotel room,” Sellen said, ElkoDaily.com reports. “If a couple people have thought of it, then chances are even more people have thought of it, and then there’s the chance that at least one person is going to make it happen” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Iowa Postal Employees Practice Anthrax Response
    Date: September 1, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Postal employees, first responders and local emergency officials in Waterloo, Iowa, recently conducted a biological attack drill that simulated an anthrax mail attack similar to the ones carried out in 2001.

    During the scenario, authorities sealed off the post office and a group of student volunteers simulated potential anthrax victims. The exercise provided officials with new insights as to how to operate during an emergency, as well as new tools to use during a response, according to WCFCourier.com.

    "It's as real as we can make it and still get it done," Sgt. Aaron McClelland of the Waterloo Police Department said, WCFCourier.com reports.

    Though a real event would be most likely to unfold over a series of days, the recent exercise was compressed into a matter of hours.

    Firefighters donned hazmat suits in order to rescue those inside the post office while members of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service began a more thorough investigation. Officials from the Iowa State Patrol, Black Hawk County Health Department and the Iowa National Guard also took part.

    "There was a number of different agencies involved. We had federal, state and county and city resources," Jewell said, according to WCFCourier.com.

    The National Guard provided a unique communications system for the event that tied together the radios from the different participants (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Conn. To Simulate Disaster
    Date: September 14, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Danbury Hospital will host emergency responders from the greater Danbury, Conn., area and over 100 volunteers on the Fairfield Hills campus in Newtown, Conn., for a mock mass casualty exercise on Oct. 1.

    The training exercise, dubbed Operation Touchdown, will simulate the events of a disaster in which the number of casualties would overwhelm the emergency rooms of area hospitals. A field hospital named after Ottilie W. Lundgren, the 94-year-old Oxford, Conn. woman who died in 2001 of anthrax, will be set up on Fairfield Hills during the exercise, reports Newtown Patch.

    Lundgren was one of 22 cases of anthrax reported in the aftermath of the postal service anthrax attacks in 2001. She was one of five deaths attributed to letters that were laced with the deadly anthrax spores.

    The $8 million mobile hospital, which was purchased five years ago through a combination of federal and state money, has enough beds to accommodate 25 to 100 patients.

    Operation Touchdown will pull together fire, police, emergency medical services and others who will train together on their response to a full-scale natural disaster with a focus on six areas – communications, transportation, staging, medical treatment, triage and command and control.

    Danbury Hospital's Office of Emergency Management in collaboration with first responders is organizing the exercise, which will take place on Sat., Oct. 1 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Wisconsin Guard Unit Demonstrates Its Ability To Serve, Protect
    Date: September 15, 2011
    Source:
    Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs

    Abstract: A Wisconsin National Guard unit continues to hone its skills for responding to threats of weapons of mass destruction in the state.

    The 54th Civil Support Team, a full-time joint Army and Air National Guard unit based in Madison, is participating in a five-day exercise named "Operation Bay Watch" in Sturgeon Bay, Wis. The exercise scenario depicts a domestic terrorist attack involving a nerve agent at the Door County Fairgrounds race track, and also a dirty bomb laboratory in the municipal area.

    According to Karl Nagel, a member of the Army controller-observer team heading the exercise, the 54th CST will be judged on how well it responds to various training events. Some events from the race track venue could recur in the dirty bomb laboratory venue if observer-controllers determine that the 54th CST requires additional training.

    Lt. Col. David May, deputy director of domestic operations, plans and training with the Wisconsin National Guard's Joint Staff, explained that the 54th CST is required to complete a training proficiency exercise approximately every 18 months. Their last certification exercise was in March 2010.

    "With one of two exercise days complete, the team is doing very well," May said Sept. 14. "But [the unit] will face some rigorous challenges on the final day. The scenarios are built to ensure the team is tested in all the required areas, but also are intended to be realistic."

    The 54th CST assists local first responders in determining the nature of an attack, provides medical and technical advice, and - as the first military responder to the scene - serves as an advance party if additional state or federal military resources are required. They do not take over the scene, but coordinate with the local incident commander and determine how to best assist local response efforts.

    Maj. Gen. Don Dunbar, adjutant general of Wisconsin, said that while the Civil Support Team is not a brand-new concept - it was conceived during the second term of the Clinton administration - it nonetheless reflects the changing role the National Guard plays in protecting the homeland.

    "The 54th CST represents the high end of our core mission," Dunbar said. "Floods, fires and storm responses may not require the same specialized skill sets that the Civil Support Team possesses, but deep down it's the same mission - provide capabilities to local authorities to safeguard our communities. But whether natural or man-made, if the threat changes, the National Guard adapts."

    May noted that local support in Door County for this exercise has been outstanding.

    "The county parks department and staff, the county emergency manager, Sturgeon Bay Police Department, local businesses and local citizens have accommodated everything that we have needed," he said.

    This exercise follows on the heels of real-world protective missions the 54th CST conducted at Lambeau Field in Green Bay for the season-opening National Football League game, at the State Capitol building for the 9/11 10th anniversary ceremony, and at Miller Park in Milwaukee for a celebration of 9/11 veterans. The same proactive mission to detect and counter threats was also recently conducted at the National Guard Association of the United States general conference in Milwaukee at the end of August (Wisconsin Department of Military Affairs, 2011).

    Title: Expert Details Joint U.S.-South Korea Bioattack Exercise
    Date: September 19, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The United States and South Korea held a joint exercise in May to counter potential biological attacks by North Korea, according to a ruling party member.

    Kim Hak-song of the Grand National Party said that the anti-biological war drill was held at the South Korea-U.S. Combined Forces Command and the Korea Institute for Defense Analyses on May 17 through May 27 and was attended by senior officials from both countries' related agencies, the Korea Herald reports.

    The exercise was presided over by the U.S., which tried to warn Seoul of Pyongyang's biological weapons, which pose threats to peace in Northeast Asia, Kim said. According to Kim, Seoul opposed the exercise, citing public anxiety and negative economic impact.

    The drill was aimed at coping with North Korea's asymmetrical attacks with radiation leakage and biological weapons. North Korea is believed to have 13 types of weaponized stocks of biochemicals, including cholera, typhoid and anthrax.

    Military and political heavyweights from both countries, including Gen. Walter Sharp, who was the then-commander of U.S. forces in Korea, participated in a seminar held at KIDA on the last day of the drill.

    "South Korea found that it has been hardly prepared to counter North Korea's biological attacks," Kim said, according to the Korea Herald. "The defense ministry should come up with measures against biological warfare."

    According to a study, a bomb containing one kilogram of anthrax could kill up to 11,000 people in a city that has a population density of 14,500 per square kilometer.
    Seoul's density rose to 17,240 per square kilometer in 2010 (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Army CBRN Co. Holds Training Academy In Kuwait
    Date: September 23, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Soldiers from the 44th CBRN Company recently held a chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear training academy at Camp Arifjan, Kuwait, to offer insight into their capabilities.

    During the four day training event, students from various units conducted hazardous response platoon training, took on decontamination operations, conducted mounted CBRN reconnaissance instruction and participated in a simulated attack on the base with chemical weapons, according to DVIDSHub.net.

    “The training focused on giving students from the academy a taste of what we actually do,” Major Jason Snelgrove, the commander of the 44th CBRN Company, said, DVIDSHub.net reports. “The soldiers will go back to their unit with a little more knowledge, be subject matter experts and let their unit know what capabilities the chemical corps can provide.

    “My objective was to market the chemical corps and its capabilities, because a lot of people don’t know what we do."

    Many soldiers, even those in the chemical field, are often assigned to positions outside their military occupational specialty.

    “Most chemical operations specialists don’t get a chance to train or serve in an actual chemical unit,” Snelgrove said, according to DVIDSHub.net. “Most are out with the rest of the Army, in combat arms, and are SMEs for those types of units.”

    The training was an opportunity for participants to learn about the newest procedures and equipment and to work with soldiers from other units. Despite the 100 degree heat, most found it beneficial.

    “The training was excellent,” Specialist Gregory Snow, a radar mechanic with the 1st Battalion, 44th Air Defense Missile Artillery Regiment, said, DVIDSHub.net reports. “We got to see how a real chemical unit works and we came away with a better idea about how to do their jobs” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: North Dakota Trains For Anthrax Attack
    Date: October 3, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Southwest District Health Unit and a group of volunteers recently took part in full-scale training exercises across western North Dakota to test an anthrax outbreak scenario.

    Officials said that even though the likelihood of an outbreak is low, there is still a chance an anthrax outbreak could occur in the state, the Dickinson Press reports.

    “We do it because of terrorism,” Sherry Adams, Southwest District Health Unit administrator said, according to the Dickinson Press. “Not even North Dakota is immune.”

    There were 62 points of distribution stationed in seven cities across western North Dakota that were set up to gather information and distribute antibiotics as part of the scenario.

    The PODs were stationed at locations such as Hillside Baptist Church, Heart River Elementary School and Dickinson High School.

    “This particular scenario hasn’t been tested much in North Dakota,” Adams said, according to the Dickinson Press. “I think it went really well.”

    Because anyone infected with anthrax must be treated within 24 to 36 hours, time is a big issue when it comes to distributing antibiotics. Going through the process of getting antibiotics typically takes less than 10 minutes. The antibiotics were ordered from Atlanta and it took about three hours for the shipment to arrive.

    Emergency Preparedness Coordinator Joe Wanner encountered communication issues, stating that faxing and emailing was backed up during the exercise.
    Adams said that despite the issues, everyone worked well together.

    “Obviously, there is always room for improvement,” Adams said, according to the Dickinson Press. “That’s why we exercise, so in the event of a real disaster we have gotten some of those glitches out”
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011)

    Title: Organization Of American States Conducts Bioterror Simulation
    Date: October 31, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Organization of American States recently conducted a bioterrorist attack simulation in Santiago, Chile.

    The drill, funded by the Canadian government, took place at Santiago’s Arturo Benitez international airport, according to SantiagoTimes.cl. The airport was chosen because of the large amount of air traffic that flows through it, making the city highly susceptible to airborne contagions.

    Six international agencies from Uruguay, Brazil, Argentina and Paraguay took part in the exercise, along with 23 law enforcement agencies from Chile.

    “This is being done to help us prepare formal plans or to improve emergency management and crisis for such an attack, and to promote inter-agency coordination,” Chile’s Undersecretary of the Interior Rodrigo Ubilla said, SantiagoTimes.cl reports.

    Throughout the drill, which lasted several days, a series of suspicious packages containing what appeared to be Yersinia Pestis, or the bubonic plague, were left throughout the airport. Similar packages were also left at a high-rise hotel in Santiago. The training consisted of at least one false alarm when a plane carrying a sick passenger heads for the airport.

    Two days after the first “attack,” the virus appeared to have spread throughout Chile and its neighboring states. In the simulation’s final stage, the participating agencies had to coordinate an international effort to contain it.

    The mock attack in Santiago is the first of three major exercises planned by the OAS. The next will take place in March.

    The participating states are expected to meet to discuss overall strategies for containing an attack and planning for the additional exercises immediately after the current one ends.

    “The meeting will have to do with the creation of a comprehensive public policy that addresses complex issues of our time,” Ubilla said, according to SantiagoTimes.cl. “The issues will require specific protocols and clear definitions in terms of chains of command” (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Sheppard Air Force Base Simulates Bioterror Attack
    Date: November 8, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Sheppard Air Force Base personnel recently conducted a simulated biological attack exercise.

    The emergency drill simulated the explosion of a suspicious package containing a white powdery substance at the base post office. The 82nd Training Wing Plans and Programs Wing Staff Agency, which is responsible for preparing the base for both manmade and natural emergencies, organized the exercise, according to TimesRecordNews.com.

    "We put together and organize plans for the whole base," Plans and Programs Chief Lt. Col. Jeff Sloan said, TimesRecordNews.com reports. "When an emergency happens, you can't just go out unprepared; you have to have a plan in place for any contingency."

    During the recent simulation, the usually 11 member Plans and Programs office added more than 100 members in order to make its evaluations. Experts from throughout the base were called on to participate in the exercise.

    Mst. Sgt. Sean O’Neil, superintendent of the evaluation teams, said that his department’s job is to be everywhere during the drill in order to evaluate performances and to find ways to make contingency plans stronger throughout the base.

    "We try to emphasize for them to play this out to the fullest extent, to have a sense of urgency, to act exactly as they would in a real situation," Sloan said, TimesRecordNews.com reports. "It's a unique, eye-opening experience" (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Firefighters Vaccinated Against Flu In Annual Anti-Terrorism Drill
    Date: November 10, 2011
    Source: New York 1


    Abstract: City firefighters are not only on the front lines of fire and disaster: They're also battling a seasonal disease, as well.

    Members of the force did their part to prevent the spread of the flu Thursday by getting vaccinated.

    It's part of the department's annual anti-terrorism drill.

    "This is a protection for our members, so that when they go home, if there's an event, their family will be safe. And this is just part of our preparedness since September 11th, working with Homeland Security to ensure that we can provide first responder service if we are hit with a biological or chemical event," said Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano.

    The FDNY said there is a stockpile of vaccine available in case of an emergency (New York 1, 2011).

    Title: Conn. Simulates Bioterror Attack
    Date: November 14, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: First responders and personnel from state and federal agencies participated in a major bioterrorism drill at a train station in New Canaan, Connecticut.

    The Metropolitan Transit Authority Police, a New Canaan Police Special Response Team and the FBI were included in an evaluation of the city’s response to a hazardous substance being released aboard a commuter train headed into the New Canaan train station, according to Acorn-Online.com.

    The drill involved a hostage scenario, the release of anthrax into the air and a bomb placed under a rail car. Although it was the 29th time the MTA has been involved in a full-scale exercise, this one is considered the first of its type.

    Edward Murray, the exercise director from the Connecticut Division of Emergency Management and Homeland Security, said an exercise of this scope of circumstances was the first ever performed in the country.

    “Most drills like this are solely devoted to response in an emergency situation like a derailed train or something like that,” Murray said, Acorn-Online.com reports. “We also have a recovery section that the Health Department is doing; it’s unique and it has never been done before in the United States. So this is certainly a unique exercise.”

    The scenario, which took at least a year to plan, utilized more than 200 emergency responders, 50 of whom came from New Canaan. Other area response teams, including those from county, state and federal agencies, also participated (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: National Guard Participates In Emergency Preparedness Drill At Port Of Catoosa
    Date: November 15, 2011
    Source:
    News On 6

    Abstract:
    The Oklahoma National Guard along with soldiers from six other states is taking part in a disaster drill at the Port of Catoosa Tuesday morning.

    The exercise, called Operation Sooner Response, centers around a scenario where domestic terrorists release chemical and biological weapons in the aftermath of a magnitude 7.5 earthquake.

    At the Port of Catoosa, it's business as usual at the manufacturing facilities. But nearby, National Guard members are training for the out of the ordinary.

    A group from the Oklahoma Air National Guard's 138th Security Force Squadron and Missouri Guard members are taking part in a drill combining earthquake response with a biological or chemical attack.

    "Basically the scenario is during the earthquake the home grown terrorists saw this as an opportunity to go out and attack the city, so we're going around the city looking at buildings trying to find where their production facilities are," said Captain Theresa Wagner, Missouri National Guard.

    The exercise is being held simultaneously at several other locations in Oklahoma with guard members from seven states.

    "We say we never want to exchange business cards at an actual incident, so this allows us to get to know people, get to know capabilities. And work out any kinks we may have a training event so in the event of a real world deal we're not delaying support to the citizens of Oklahoma or whatever area we're responding to," said Major Greg Farr, Oklahoma National Guard.

    The joint training is called "Operation Sooner Response." Since similar exercises are being held at several locations in Oklahoma, it's also good training for leaders at headquarters who are coordinating response over a large geographic area.

    "It gives them an opportunity to see just how vast it is, to try to get your arms around a command and control and support that exercise over multiple days," Major Farr said.

    In addition to training at the Port, exercises are also being held in Muskogee, Ponca City and Camp Gruber.

    National Guard civil support teams from Kansas, Missouri, Louisiana, Texas, New Mexico and Georgia are also participating in the weeklong exercise in Muskogee and the Ponca City area (News On 6, 2011).

    Title: Guam Mounts Bio-Terror Attack Response Drill
    Date: November 15, 2011
    Source:
    Government Security News

    Abstract: The western Pacific island of Guam began a three-day drill on Nov. 15 to test its response to a bio-terror attack.

    Guam Homeland Security and the Office of Civil Defense (GHS/OCD) said it and the island nation’s Department of Public Health and Social Services is coordinating with other Guam government agencies to conduct a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Full Scale Exercise (FSE) it calls Operation Pa'ti.

    Located east of the Philippines and China and south of Japan, Guam is an unincorporated U.S. territory and its residents are U.S. citizens. There are also several U.S. Navy and Air Force bases on the island. The strategic national stockpile, run jointly by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention and the Department of Homeland Security, is the U.S. national repository of antibiotics, vaccines, chemical antidotes, antitoxins and other critical medical equipment and supplies. The supplies are set aside in case of a bioterror attack or national pandemic. The stockpile can supplement and re-supply local health authorities in dire situations.  

    The FSE, said a statement by GHS, was preceded by a tabletop exercise and is set to run Nov. 15-18. The exercise is a simulation designed to test the government of Guam's public health response capabilities to an anthrax biological terrorist attack with emphasis on coordination with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and support from the local government's emergency management system.

    GHS warned the island’s population that there may be emergency response vehicles on the roadways and at various government facilities during the exercise. The villages that may be affected include Yigo, Dededo, Upper Tumon, Tamuning and Mangilao, said the agency (Government Security News, 2011)

    Title: Guam Simulates Bioattack
    Date: November 16, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Guam Homeland Security, the Department of Public Health and Social Services, the Office of Civil Defense and other government agencies in Guam have begun a strategic national stockpile full scale exercise known as Operation Pa’ti.

    Operation Pa'ti simulates a biological terrorist attack. Specifically, the agencies involved in the exercise simulate what to do if terrorists spread anthrax on the island of Guam. The exercise is designed to test the public health capabilities of GovGuam, Pacific News Center reports.

    They agencies have even practiced calling the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta.

    "In the event that we do get attacked we need to practice and prepare for that and basically what it is there's real particular steps on how to prepare when to trigger requests to the federal government for emergency assets,” Patrick Lujan, a representative of the Department of Public Health, said, according to Pacific News Center.

    Residents of Mangilao, Tamuning, Upper Tumon, Dededo and Yigo
    have been advised of emergency response vehicles on the roadways and at various GovGuam facilities during the exercise.

    The exercise includes a tabletop exercise testing GovGuam's response capabilities to the simulated attack, according to Alyssa Benito, a Homeland Security spokesperson. Operation Pa'ti began Tuesday and will take place over the course of four days, KUAM reports
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: University Of Wyoming Simulates Anthrax Attack
    Date: November 18, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Volunteers at the University of Wyoming participated in the first "Cowboy Ready" anthrax simulation drill on Wednesday to test the ability of the school and Albany County Public Health to respond to such an emergency.

    Instead of receiving actual medication to treat anthrax, the UW faculty, staff and student participants received T-shirts as gifts of appreciation for playing the role of patients in the "point of dispensing" exercise. Organizers of the event said they were pleased with the response and happy with what they saw.

    "My initial thoughts are that it worked very well," Nancy Fox, the director of UW's Environmental Health and Safety Department, said. "We were able to set up a POD and handle more than 200 patients from campus. In a real emergency we would need more volunteers, but this is exactly what we would have to do."

    Officials for UW and Albany County Public Health identified the fieldhouse as the preferred on-campus site to distribute countermeasures in the event of a public health emergency.

    The drill was intended to help health officials and UW test, improve and communicate their plans before a real disaster occurs. In addition, the drill served as a learning experience for students in UW's College of Health Sciences. Nearly 40 student volunteers served as the staff for the exercise, working in roles ranging from greeting "patients" to helping determine what type of medication they should receive.

    "Now, in case something bad actually happens, we won't be running around like chickens with their heads cut off," Ryan Randall, a second year pharmacy student, said.

    Several campus entities helped organize the event, including the School of Pharmacy, the Dean of Students Office, Student Health and Institutional Communications.

    Beth Young of Albany County Public Health was delighted with the exercise.

    "The most important thing is that UW was able to do it on its own with students, faculty and staff," Young said. "Albany County Public Health is sincerely appreciative of UW for hosting such a robust and realistic exercise"
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Calif. County Simulates Ricin Release Into Water Supply
    Date: November 21, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: Health and safety crews from Tehama County, Calif., collaborated on a water interruption training exercise on Thursday morning using a scenario in which ricin had been put into the water supply.

    Participating in the exercise were staff from the St. Elizabeth Community Hospital, the public health and public works departments, the Red Bluff police and fire departments, the California Highway Patrol, CalFire and the sheriff's department. The exercise, which is held annually, helped the agencies discover what deficiencies they each have so they can be better prepared to overcome them during an actual emergency, Red Bluff Daily News reports.

    "All residents and businesses receiving city water within Tehama County must not use or consume water for any purpose," Phillip Mackintosh, the CHP public information officer, said as part of the scenario, according to Red Bluff Daily News.

    Mackintosh was one of three people who operated the public information office during the training scenario. Each department involved went through the motions of what their responsibilities would be should such a threat become a reality. City Hall was set up as a command center for the exercise and hospital staff practiced filtering water from a pool along with other activities. Law enforcement decided on the best locations for stations that distribute safe bottled water and sites for portable toilets.

    "We will do everything we can to provide information to keep people safe," Mackintosh said, according to Red Bluff Daily News.

    The mock emergency exercise forced departments to plan what they could or would do in a related situation.

    In the past, responders have committed to an airplane crash and a bus rollover reenactment. The training was the second part of a tabletop exercise that the departments did approximately one month before (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Oregon To Use “Push” Strategy In The Event Of An Attack
    Date: November 21, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Portland, Oregon, metropolitan area recently began using a push strategy plan for medicine distribution in case of an emergency, such as a biological terror attack.

    The first models for dispensing medical countermeasures during an emergency relied on a pull strategy, where community members would travel to a large distribution center, like a school, to receive medication, according to EmergencyMgmt.com.

    Experts say that a pull strategy can place unreasonable demands on public resources and may, in the end, restrict public access to health care.

    Portland developed a partner registry to aid in identifying community partners that can dispense countermeasures in the 48 hours following a crisis. Partners include large employers, service providers for vulnerable people and planned responders such as critical infrastructure agencies.

    Over the summer, partner sites in several Oregon and Washington counties participated in an exercise to test the efficiency of the push method, EmergencyMgmt.com reports. During the scenario, which included a simulated aerosolized anthrax attack, medical assets were distributed to local warehouses where they were picked up by the push partners.

    Because the release of anthrax would most likely be discovered late in the window for effective treatment or prophylaxis, a large number of people would need to be given antibiotics immediately. Participants in the exercise lauded the response’s flexibility, organization, communication and cooperation (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: "Orange Flame 6" Exercise Is Part Of Wider Process Of Increasing Israel's Ability To Deal With Unconventional Threats
    Date: November 26, 2011
    Source:
    DefPro

    Abstract: Next week, the Israeli Defense Ministry, in conjunction with the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) and the Health Ministry, will conduct an exercise simulating an unconventional terror attack.

    The exercise, called "Orange Flame 6" will simulate a biological outbreak of a contagious disease in the cities of northern Israel.

    The exercise will be held in Afula, Tiberias, Nazareth and Nazareth-Ilit. It is part of a number of exercises in the field of unconventional terrorism. Such exercises take place every year. In the up and coming months, the Ministry of Defense intends to hold additional drills in the field of unconventional terrorism. This is part of a wider process of increasing Israel's preparation, alertness and competence in dealing with this particular threat.

    The exercise will test and drill the various organs of the Defense Ministry, the Health Ministry, the Home Front Command, hospitals, healthcare centers, local authorities, the police, Magen David Adom, the fire brigade, the Environmental Protection Ministry, the Foreign Ministry, and the Water Authority, as well as other bodies.

    As part of the exercise, the local authorities will set up Mass-Prophylaxis Treatment Centers which will simulate the provision of preventative treatment to citizens who are suspected of exposure to the outbreak. Each center will be drilled on their capacity to treat approximately 5,000 patients per day. The hospitals will be drilled on their ability to treat those who already displaying symptoms of the disease.

    The aim of the drill is to increase the preparedness and competence of all the relevant national services in coping with biological terror attacks.

    "The aim of the exercise is to improve and increase the capabilities of the State of Israel to handle an unconventional terror attack," said Brigadier General (res.) Ze'ev Snir, Assistant Minister of Defense for CBRN (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear) Defense. "It is important that that the citizens of Israel know that there are people in the Defense Establishment, as well as the other relevant authorities, whose permanent job is to prepare the State of Israel to handle these types of threats. The State of Israel is at the global forefront of preparedness for such events. However we are committed to continuously testing ourselves in order to increase and improve both our capabilities and preparedness for the array of potential challenges that we could face" (DefPro, 2011).  

    Title: Israel To Simulate Bioterror Attack
    Date: November 29, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: The Defense and Health Ministries in Israel are preparing to hold a two day drill starting Wednesday that will test the country's preparedness for an unconventional terrorist attack.

    The exercise, called "Orange Flame 6," will examine the potential of an outbreak of an infectious disease in the country's northern cities. The drill is part of a series of training exercises planned by the Defense Ministry. Another drill that is scheduled for January will simulate a radiological attack on Haifa, Y Net News reports.

    As part of the event, fake patients will flood northern hospitals presenting the symptoms of a suspicious illness. Medical crews will use this simulation to practice responding quickly to a biological attack, while an inter-ministerial committee will train on managing such a national crisis.

    Distributing vaccinations and quarantining entire regions are just two of the possible strategies the state could implement should an agent like chicken pox or anthrax be unleashed on Israel's population.

    On the second day of the drill, local authorities will open clinics that simulate the treatment of civilians infected in the biological attack. Each center will practice treating approximately 5,000 patients a day, according to Y Net News.

    Experts estimate that if such an epidemic were to break out, thousands of healthy citizens will arrive at hospitals fearing that they have been infected, which could overload the medical crews and prevent the sick from getting treatment.

    Home Front Command, fire and police departments, local authorities, clinics and hospitals plan to take part in the drill, along with other national establishments
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: Chemical Weapons Attack Simulated St MLB Park
    Date: December 15, 2011
    Source:
    Bio Prep Watch

    Abstract: A large scale emergency disaster drill involving the simulation of a chemical weapons attack was held on Wednesday at Nationals Park in Washington, D.C.

    The mock terrorist attack simulated the conditions that first responders would have to face if trying to rescue victims during a chemical attack. The simulation also gave insight as to how emergency medical care would be provided during a high-yield explosive or nuclear incident, NBC Washington reports.

    The U.S. Marines Corps' Chemical Biological Incident Response Force and the District of Columbia Fire Department participated in the four hour drill, which lasted from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and was not open to the public. Both of the groups are specially trained to deal with such large-scale incidents and are able to deploy at any time in the Washington metro area.

    Approximately 150 Marines and sailors from the Marine unit trained during the incident, the Washington Examiner reports
    (Bio Prep Watch, 2011).

    Title: FDNY Holds Annual Bio-Terrorism Drill Throughout New York
    Date: December 28, 2011
    Source:
    FDNN TV

    Abstract: Members of the FDNY always stress the importance of preparedness, and for nine years, the BIOPOD drill has been part of that mission.

    The annual terrorism drill was held on Nov. 10, during which all FDNY first responders and staff were offered the influenza vaccine at 15 different points of distribution (PODs) throughout New York City over the course of 18 hours.

    The drill simulated the need to vaccinate all FDNY members after a biological attack.

    "It's a way we can offer protection to our members in the event of a terror attack," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said. "We want to make sure that if they go home to their families, everyone will be safe."

    BIOPOD is conducted by the FDNY Bureau of Health Services in conjunction with the FDNY Bureau of Operations. Each year the staff alters the scenario and distribution methods, to determine the most effective means of vaccinating the Department's entire workforce.

    The drill is part of the Presidential Policy Directive (which describes the nation's approach to preparing for threats and hazards that pose a national security risk) and the City's overall emergency response plan that combines the efforts of the Fire Department with other city agencies, including the Police Department, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Office of Emergency Management. It is part of the Department's ongoing initiative to plan for its response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents
    (FDNN News, 2011).