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Capital Shield 2012: Terror Drill for Local Hospitals | Events

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Capital Shield 2012: Terror Drill for Local Hospitals
Capital Shield 2012: Terror Drill for Local Hospitals

Military helicopters occupied the skies Wednesday, October 19th, as 13 Maryland hospitals participated in Capital Shield 2012, a D.C.-area full-scale exercise to test the region's ability to respond to a mass casualty terrorist attack.

Montgomery, Prince George's, Calvert, St. Mary's, and Charles County hospitals as well as Montgomery and Prince George's County EMS tested their response efforts in a disaster.

"Yearly, we practice a mass casualty exercise to prepare us for any disaster. We want to make sure that we are here for the community and that we practice with all of our partners so we respond to any disaster as fast as possible," explained Cindy Notobartolo, service line administrator for safety and security at Suburban Hospital.

Suburban Hospital in Bethesda tested several cutting edge technologies including patient data exchange, radio frequency identification, and military helicopter transports.

"We have implemented a family reunification center which connects families with missing people and a behavioral health center. We have a better radio system and an rfid tracking system where we can track victims through a radio frequency. Through this, we will know where they are and where they have gotten treatment," said Notobartolo.

First responders performed mock rescues, triage, treatment procedures, and practiced transporting victims by helicopter and ambulance to area hospitals.Victims were made-up to look as if they are seriously injured and have just been pulled from the rubble of a large explosion. 

"Since 2004, we have been simulating these exercises with the military and our partners.These very real exercises let us see how well we do and what we need to improve going forward," Notobartolo said.

The goal of the exercise is to ensure that government agencies at every level are prepared to take coordinated action to protect the public in the event of an actual disaster in the National Capital Region. This is a joint exercise conducted with Joint Force Headquarters - National Capital Region/U.S. Army Military District of Washington and local and state response partners.


Suburban Hospital tested the following technologies:

Patient Data Exchange – Demonstrated the ability to exchange patient records electronically in the event of a disaster that necessitates the transfer of patients among partner hospitals.

Digital Pen for Triage - Demonstrated the use of electronically captured patient data “written” on a form. The technology prevents data from being lost or damaged and quickly analyzes and summarizes the data. Walter Reed and Suburban Hospital will use the digital pen and triage form to collect, organize, and summarize patient data.

Lost Person Finder (LPF) – Walter Reed and Suburban Hospital demonstrated the use of a customized system for family reunification at hospitals during a disaster, including photos, a web-based “notification wall”. An iPhone app has also been developed for capturing, storing, and transferring data but will not be tested in this exercise.

Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) - Evaluated the role of Real Time Locating System (RTLS), which tracks the location, status and movement of equipment and/or people. Tested at Suburban and NIHCC.

Military Helicopter Transport – Received mock patients via military helicopter transport.