Historic Federal Training Strengthens Public Health Preparedness and Response in Pennsylvania

Apr 22, 2013, 15:03 ET from Pennsylvania Department of Health

HARRISBURG, Pa., April 22, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Healthcare professionals from across Pennsylvania are better prepared to respond to major natural or manmade disasters following an intensive, week-long training at the federal Centers for Domestic Preparedness in Alabama.

One hundred forty-three professionals from public health entities, Emergency Medical Services (EMS) and hospitals attended the training April 15-19.

"The Pennsylvania contingent was the largest group ever to complete this training," Acting Secretary of Health Michael Wolf said. "The Federal Emergency Management Agency worked very closely with us to customize the exercise specifically for our needs, providing our designated professionals with tailored preparedness tools and experience."

The attendees also received extensive training specific to their professions. The week culminated with the participants coming together for Integrated Capstone Event (ICE) training, an all-hazards exercise that focuses on emergency response to a catastrophic natural disaster or terrorist act.

Specifically, the Pennsylvania ICE scenario involved a small domestic terrorist organization carrying out multiple attacks on a fictional city, resulting in more than 300 injured people needing immediate triage and treatment. A combination of role players and state-of-the-art human patient simulators were used for the ICE training. All training costs were fully funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

For more information about training or FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness, visit cdp.dhs.gov or www.facebook.com/cdpfema.

Media contact:  Penny Kline, 717-787-1783

Editor's Note: Digital media from the ICE training – including B-roll and stills of Pennsylvania's participants in action – is available. Visit www.health.state.pa.us, then click on "Newsroom" and the "Digital Media" tab to download footage from the event.

SOURCE Pennsylvania Department of Health