Augusta, Maine, holds emergency anthrax drill

A mass casualty drill simulating an anthrax release was recently conducted in Augusta, Maine.

The Maine Veterans Administration Healthcare System led the exercise with assistance from area hospitals, fire departments and the Maine National Guard, according to

"It started out with a biological bomb in the gym where contaminants were, involving five patients," Dennis Passmore, Augusta's acting police chief, said, reports.

Shortly after the first simulated explosion, a second bomb was detonated at a nearby theater. The second explosion added 30 more patients to the number of injured that needed immediate care.

"It's very important to see that each facility, each hospital, can work together. Who helps in transport, triage, how do you get people to other hospitals if there's too many patients here," Passmore said, reports. "I think probably the triage may be an issue, the coordination out of transport may be an issue, but I think overall, it's gone well."

After the exercise ended, crews from various first-responder departments met to discuss the day's events.

"Anytime that we can get some training, to test what you have for resources and test what you've been drilling, is very valuable, " Franklin True, the fire chief at the Togus VA facility, said, reports.