England conducts major chemical attack simulation

The British Health Protection Agency Emergency Response Department and National Health Services London conducted a major emergency preparedness exercise dubbed Operation Milo this week.

The exercise, according to MedicalNewsToday.com, simulated a chemical incident at a sporting event for disabled athletes. Several organizations participated in Operation Milo, including the London Metropolitan Police, Amputees in Action and the Homerton Hospital. More than 600 participants, including 150 emergency responders, 120 volunteers acting as casualties and a further 150 evaluating and controlling staff and hospital volunteers took part in the event.

“Nothing on this scale has been attempted before, with the rehearsed decontamination of both disabled and able bodied casualties and all of London's emergency services providing their response to the incident," Andy Wapling, head of Emergency Preparedness at NHS London, said, MedicalNewsToday.com reports. "NHS London are looking forward to learning from the day and will be able to share this good practice across the NHS and with other partner agencies to continue to ensure that London is prepared.”

In addition to one or more annual field exercises, the HPA Emergency Response Department leads simulations across England that are intended to bolster the NHS response in the face of a variety of events, including chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear emergencies.