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Hawaii holds pandemic exercise

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  • Hawaii holds pandemic exercise

    KAUAI News
    Traffic advisory for medical exercise convoy today
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    by The GArden Island
    An eight-vehicle convoy with police escort will be on the road between Nawiliwili Harbor and the Pacific Missile Range Facility today between 9 a.m. and 10 a.m.

    The convoy of three Army Humvees, four trucks, and a large tractor-trailer are bringing communications gear and other large equipment from O?ahuto be set up for a pandemic flu exercise on Thursday.Civilian and military personnel will be preparing for the exercise through next week. Next Wednesday, two large tents will be set up near the emergency entrance to the Kaua?i Memorial Veterans Hospital. Most of the equipment, however, will be set up at the Navy?s Pacific Missile Range Facility at Barking Sands, where the majority of the exercise activities will take place.

    The Barking Sands exercise is the second phase of Lightning Rescue 2008 which will involve about 200 civilian and military role players from O?ahu and about 40 Kaua?i personnel.

    The exercise is designed to test the ability of state and county agencies and private health organizations, to quickly mobilize and work with Army and other military services to operate a screening and triage facility for potential flu pandemic victims at a remote site.

  • #2
    Re: Hawaii holds pandemic exercise

    State stages avian flu crisis<!--endheadline-->

    100 role players add realism to emergency response exercise

    Advertiser Staff Writer

    A test of Hawai'i's emergency response systems was set in motion yesterday with a scenario at Honolulu International Airport featuring an inbound airliner carrying passengers exposed to or infected by avian flu.

    Exercise Lightning Rescue 08 began with a two- to three-hour warning to emergency response teams, as would likely occur in a real situation, from the national Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
    The exercise, which continues today, involves dozens of medical, fire, military and airport personnel as well as hospitals statewide.

    Yesterday more than 100 volunteers played the roles of passengers who had arrived from Asia and were receiving medical attention at an isolated treatment facility set up at gates 33 and 34 at the airport. The gates have a separate ventilation system from the rest of the airport with ducts that don't connect.

    "It's (the facility) intended to provide care for moderate to severely injured or ill people under isolated conditions, meaning working with biological agents like viruses and bacteria," said Toby Clairmont, commander of the Hawaii Disaster Medical Team.

    A team of about 30 doctors, nurses and technicians in full gear consisting of facemasks, lab gowns and stethoscopes treated patients in the exercise using five triage stations set up at the gates.

    The response was coordinated by Joint Task Force-Homeland Defense, which was joined by a number of agencies working together in the scenario, including personnel from airport crash fire rescue, Hickam Air Force Base and Hawaii Ambulance Medical Response.

    Clairmont said passengers initially were separated into two groups. The sick were kept at the gate for triage and those who weren't sick were taken to another floor for quarantine and questioning.

    Ill passengers were then examined by a physician to determine whether they needed immediate treatment or could be moved to a cot nearby where their vital signs would be monitored, Clairmont said.

    "We've got roughly the same capabilities as a small emergency room here," he said, noting the supply of cardiac monitors, ventilators, drugs and IV pumps to handle as many people in the airport as possible. "We're prepared to operate this for about five days continuously, so we have staffing here from several Islands."

    While the facility is in operation, people can be moved out to hospitals under isolation conditions and other areas of the airport would still function.

    In a concurrent operation, 12 hospitals statewide, including O'ahu, the Big Island, Lana'i and Maui, opened a packet one minute after midnight yesterday and had actors briefed to act like passengers on a previous flight with symptoms of bird flu.

    Patient information from the hospitals is logged into a computer system where data on ill people in the state can be passed on to the CDC for tracking and monitoring.

    Clairmont said that at the end of the exercise participants will be given an opportunity to talk about what worked and what didn't so that procedures can be improved.

    "The intent is to give them (the passengers and crew) good care without jeopardizing the safety of our community," he said.