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5/15/2013

Three-day exercise to test response to simulated bioterrorism attack

Clark County Public Health will be closed on May 23 to participate

Contact

Don Strick, Public Health
Phone: (360) 397-8000 ext. 7307
don.strick@clark.wa.gov

Eric Frank, Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency
Phone: (360) 992-9235
eric.frank@clark.wa.gov

Vancouver, WA— If terrorists were to unleash a biological agent such as anthrax in Southwest Washington, how prepared are we to respond? WASABE (Washington State Annual Bioterrorism Exercise), which takes place May 21-23, is designed to test readiness among public agencies and community organizations.

“Public Health has a responsibility to protect public health and safety,” said Marni Storey, Interim Director at Clark County Public Health. “WASABE is an example of how we continue to prepare and train for a wide range of emergencies.”

Exercise participants include:
• Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania and Wahkiakum counties;
• local and state public health agencies;
• local and state emergency operations centers;
• hospitals;
• local, state, and federal law enforcement;
• local fire agencies;
• and community volunteers.

Day 1 of the exercise will test public health’s ability to identify the agent and the source of exposure. On Day 2, an incident management team will handle the continuing investigation and plan for a medical response. Day 3 will involve setting up a medication center at Clark College and distributing imitation antibiotics.

News media invited to observe
News media may observe the exercise. For more information, contact Don Strick at (360) 397-8000 ext. 7307 or (360) 518-1731 (cell).

Role of Clark Regional Emergency Services Agency (CRESA)
CRESA will support first responders and facilitate ordering and delivery of medical supplies for public health agencies in the four-county region. CRESA also will work to provide policy makers with timely and accurate information for decision making.

Additionally, CRESA will support first responders during PACE Setter, an exercise in the Portland metro area scheduled on the same three days as WASABE.

PACE Setter, the Portland Area Capabilities Exercise, will involve people from more than 65 jurisdictions who will react and respond to a simulated bioterrorism attack and other scenarios, with participation in more than 50 venues around the region.

For more information about PACE Setter, contact Kama Simonds at (503) 702-7902.

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