CHHS Conducts Full Scale Exercise: Regional Hospitals Test Medical Surge Capabilities

Press Release
April 13, 2016
Partnering with the Maryland Emergency Response System (ERS) and hospitals from five counties across the southern and D.C. metro portions of Maryland, the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security (CHHS) facilitated a full-scale exercise today that helped prepare the region for a medical surge event. The scenario for today’s exercise was a complex coordinated attack where simultaneous attacks, including explosives and gunshots, occurred at three sites across the region. The attacks resulted in hundreds of severely wounded patients, casualties, and worried-well, being triaged and transported to area hospitals. This scenario gave participants an opportunity to practice real-world response capabilities in a risk-free environment.

The regional effort tested medical surge and resource management plans during a mass casualty incident, including communications, situational awareness, resource and personnel management. The Region V Emergency Preparedness Coalition, which includes representatives from Calvert, Charles, Montgomery, Prince George’s, and St. Mary’s Counties, participated in the exercise. In addition to the region’s hospitals, Maryland ERS, the Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems, Maryland Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, and the Amateur Radio Emergency Service/Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service activated to support regional response during the exercise. Each of the participating hospitals assessed their internal response mechanisms to deal with an influx of patients while also working within the jurisdictional response framework to coordinate across the region.

In addition to developing and coordinating the exercise, CHHS and Maryland ERS staff acted as evaluators at each hospital, using evaluation guides tailored to hospital-specific exercise objectives. Information collected during and after the exercise will be incorporated into After Action Reports for each of the facilities. CHHS has supported the Region V coalition for several years in developing, facilitating, and evaluating this annual full-scale exercise, but today’s event was one of the Center’s largest to date, incorporating more than 25 participating institutions.

CHHS has vast experience in exercise and training and some of our past clients have included local governments across Maryland and the State’s Emergency Management Agency, as well as colleges, hospitals, and the D.C Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency. CHHS also offers planning services in continuity of operations, critical infrastructure protection, interoperability, mass evacuation and sheltering, and resource management. Numerous public health organizations have also sought out CHHS expertise on issues such as medical surge planning, legal issues surrounding public health emergencies, and hospital preparedness and response.

Exercise Participants:
Maryland Emergency Response System (ERS)
Maryland Institute for Emergency Medical Services Systems (MIEMSS)
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
Amateur Radio Emergency Service/ Radio Amateur Civil Emergency Service

Calvert County
Calvert County Health Department
Calvert Memorial Hospital

Charles County
University of Maryland Charles Regional Medical Center
Charles County Health Department

Montgomery County
Adventist Behavioral Health
Adventist Rehabilitation
Holy Cross Hospital – Silver Spring
Holy Cross Hospital – Germantown
MedStar Montgomery Medical Center
Montgomery County Public Health
National Institute of Health
Shady Grove Central Campus
Suburban Hospital
Walter Reed National Military Medical Center

Prince George’s County
Dimensions Healthcare System-Laurel Regional Medical Center
Dimensions Healthcare System-Prince George’s Hospital Center
Doctors Community Hospital
Fort Washington Medical Center
MedStar Southern Maryland Hospital
Prince George’s County Health Department
Prince George’s County Emergency Services

St. Mary’s County
MedStar St. Mary’s Hospital
St. Mary’s Health Department


Caring for mock patients at the April 13, 2016

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