Conn. to simulate disaster

Danbury Hospital will host emergency responders from the greater Danbury, Conn., area and over 100 volunteers on the Fairfield Hills campus in Newtown, Conn., for a mock mass casualty exercise on Oct. 1.
The training exercise, dubbed Operation Touchdown, will simulate the events of a disaster in which the number of casualties would overwhelm the emergency rooms of area hospitals. A field hospital named after Ottilie W. Lundgren, the 94-year-old Oxford, Conn. woman who died in 2001 of anthrax, will be set up on Fairfield Hills during the exercise, reports Newtown Patch.
Lundgren was one of 22 cases of anthrax reported in the aftermath of the postal service anthrax attacks in 2001. She was one of five deaths attributed to letters that were laced with the deadly anthrax spores.
The $8 million mobile hospital, which was purchased five years ago through a combination of federal and state money, has enough beds to accommodate 25 to 100 patients.
Operation Touchdown will pull together fire, police, emergency medical services and others who will train together on their response to a full-scale natural disaster with a focus on six areas - communications, transportation, staging, medical treatment, triage and command and control.
Danbury Hospital's Office of Emergency Management in collaboration with first responders is organizing the exercise, which will take place on Sat., Oct. 1 between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m.