The Division of Public Health Emergency Medical Services and Preparedness Section will host a two-day, operations-based exercise event from noon to 4:30 p.m., Tuesday, June 19, and 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Wednesday, June 20, at Sussex Central High School, 26026 Patriots Way, Georgetown. The purpose is to test the division’s ability to operate a shelter for residents who may be displaced or unable to occupy their homes in the event of a disaster.
Area residents will notice DPH staff and emergency vehicles at the Sussex Central High School campus in Georgetown during this two-day time frame, but should be advised that activities taking place are simulation only, and should not to be mistaken for a real-life event. A site survey and exercise preparation will take place Tuesday, and the full exercise will run Wednesday.
This full-scale exercise is one of several emergency planning events that are designed to test public health responsibilities during mass care operations. This exercise focuses on the mass care shelter components of a response. The exercise planning team will test several capabilities relating to staff notification, intelligence sharing, and medical reserve corps training. Testing all functions simultaneously will provide evaluators with an accurate assessment of response plans and responders.
“This is a vitally important exercise as it will test our staff’s readiness to assemble and effectively run a shelter in the event of an actual emergency,” said DPH Director Dr. Karyl Rattay. “Our commitment to keeping all Delawareans safe during a disaster is a top priority and one we take seriously. I look forward to a successful exercise over the course of these two days.”
DPH will incorporate the lessons learned from this exercise into existing plans to improve future responses. A critical area during exercises such as this is to train with partner agencies identified as having a responsibility in emergency planning. DPH continues to partner with federal, state and local stakeholders to prepare for a seamless response during future events.
For more information about the EMSPS exercise schedule, go to www.dhss.delaware.gov/dhss/dph/php/excalendar.html.