March 17, 2006

Volunteers sought for region’s largest-ever disaster training drill

Featured Image

Volunteers sought for region’s largest-ever disaster training drill

Vanderbilt University Medical Center's Office of Emergency Preparedness is seeking Vanderbilt students, faculty and staff as volunteers for the Medical Center's largest disaster preparedness training exercise to date.

The Greater Nashville Homeland Security District 5 Emergency Preparedness Challenge is a multi-agency, multi-county drill, to be held on Friday, April 7, and Saturday, April 8, and will include as many as 3,000 participants.

VUMC will have a major role in the exercise, which is billed as one of the nation's largest disaster drills.

Organizers say it will be the largest local-level disaster drill held in the nation after Hurricane Katrina, and will involve three major mock-incidents activating emergency responders in four counties.

The exercise will test the limits of Middle Tennessee's emergency response capacity to reveal its strengths and weaknesses.

This comprehensive drill will evaluate responsiveness of local, state and federal agencies and area hospitals in four Middle Tennessee Counties — Davidson, Sumner, Williamson and Wilson.

For its role in the drill, VUMC will receive approximately 300 mock patients to test the effectiveness of hospital mass casualty protocols, including operation of the Medical Center's decontamination shower and the Vanderbilt Bio Clinic.

This is a temporary on-campus clinic assembled in the gymnasium of Vanderbilt's Student Health Center.

It is designed to accommodate a high volume of ambulatory patients who may require screening and treatment for exposure to biologic agents.

VUMC, along with 13 other area hospitals, 500 first-responders (representing law enforcement, fire, public safety and health teams from local, state and federal agencies) and 150 exercise controllers and evaluators will be participating.

For more information on volunteering for VUMC's portion of the Emergency Preparedness Challenge, visit