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Sept. 23, 1999

Michael Mewhinney

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

(Phone: 650/604-3937, 650/604-9000)

mmewhinney@mail.arc.nasa.gov


NOTE TO EDITORS AND NEWS DIRECTORS: 99-57AR

NASA AMES TO HOST COLLAPSED STRUCTURE SIMULATION

In observance of Earthquake Preparedness Month, news reporters are invited to participate in a Collapsed Structure Simulation on Wednesday, Sept. 29, at NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA.

The simulation will be held from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. PDT at Ames' Collapsed Structure Training Facility, Bldg. N-267, the primary training site for the center's Disaster Assistance & Rescue Team (DART). During a realistic training exercise, reporters will be able to either rescue a victim, portray a victim being rescued, or operate the concrete-breaking tools needed to reach a victim. Since reporters may be crawling through smoke-filled tunnels, basements or rooms with collapsed ceilings, safety equipment and protective clothing will be provided.

"This will be an opportunity to make the public aware of what it is like to be in a collapsed structure caused by a disaster, such as a major earthquake," said Robert J. Dolci, Director of Emergency Services at NASA Ames. Santa Clara County disaster officials plan to conduct an earthquake exercise on Oct. 13, four days before the 10th anniversary of the Loma Prieta Earthquake.

Reporters will be able to participate in seven one-hour training exercises. Training exercises will be scheduled from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m.; 9 a.m. to 10 a.m.; 10 a.m. to 11 a.m., 11 a.m. to 12 p.m.; 1 p.m. to 2 p.m.; 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. and 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Reporters wishing to participate in the training exercise should call 650/604-3937 to book a time slot and plan to arrive at least 30 minutes prior to the start of their training exercise in order to don protective gear.

"People need to be aware that it takes a large team many, many hours to find and remove a victim," Dolci said. "It can take as many as 70 highly-trained specialists 24 hours or more to remove one person from a collapsed structure."

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