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Nov. 30, 1998

John Bluck

NASA Ames Research Center, Moffett Field, CA

Phone: 650/604-5026



Emergency exercises, including a mock earthquake, a real building fire, a simulated terrorist attack, a staged airplane crash and rescue drills will take place at NASA's Ames Research Center, Moffett Federal Airfield, CA, from Thursday, Dec. 3, through Saturday, Dec. 5.

During the exercises, diverse emergency rescue teams will train for specific tasks while learning how to coordinate their efforts. Participants will come from a range of groups, including the Ames Disaster Assistance and Rescue Team (DART) and the Coast Guard. Other strike teams will include personnel from the Moffett Fire Department, law enforcement and hazardous materials response units, El Camino Hospital, Stanford Medical Center and the California Air National Guard. Emergency coordinators from local government, including Sunnyvale, Mountain View and Santa Clara County, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency and other federal agencies will also be involved.

"The intent of this exercise is to give local emergency response organizations the opportunity to work together in an extensive disaster simulation," said Bob Dolci, Ames director of emergency services. "The knowledge and experience gained from the three-day exercise will benefit the greater Bay Area community."

Approximate schedule of major events:

Thursday, Dec. 3, 7:47 a.m. to 8 p.m. (All times are PST):

7:47 a.m. – 8.0 Richter scale earthquake exercise kicks off 3-day emergency exercise. Earthquake scenario includes "blocked roads/bridges."

9:30 a.m. - Simulated collision of a DC-8 airplane and a light aircraft over Moffett Field. Exercise will include water rescue by a Coast Guard helicopter, the Mountain View Fire diver-rescue boat and the DART water rescue unit.

2:00 p.m. – NASA's Hazardous Materials Response Team responds to hazardous material "incidents" that require donning fully encapsulated suits and self-contained breathing apparatus. Several "victims" will participate in this exercise. –more-

Friday, Dec. 4, 7:30 a.m. to midnight –

7:30 a.m. – Heart attack "victim" rescued from catwalk by DART's "high angle" rescue team.

8:35 a.m. – Following earthquake aftershock and simulated Moffett Field runway damage, C-141 aircraft veers off runway; airplane "ignites." Moffett fire crash units will respond. This scenario will include "victims" to be transported to a local hospital. There will also be a simulated "hazardous materials" situation.

11:30 a.m. – Major aftershock simulated. Simulation of water tower collapse on Bldg. 6. DART team uses tunneling and shoring techniques to rescue trapped "victims" from a damaged concrete structure. This exercise will take about 12 hours to complete. The team will use advanced urban search and rescue techniques.

2:00 p.m. – Simulated Terrorist incident. Scenario to include "take-down" of a critical NASA facility. This exercise includes simulation of a nerve agent attack in the building and a truck bomb parked near the structure. A miniature radio-controlled helicopter equipped with a television camera will monitor the situation. Also, a lightly armored command vehicle equipped with special hazardous material suits for biological, chemical and radiological incidents will participate in this exercise. In addition, the vehicle has a front-end tool package including a manipulator arm. Army bomb squad members dressed in "hazmat" suits will enter the area to "defuse" the "bomb."

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Saturday, Dec. 5, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. -

8 a.m. - "Real building fire" exercise -- Bldg. 501 will really be burned. The Moffett Fire Dept. and NASA DART will respond.

Midway through each day, there will be a shift briefing at about 2 p.m. that media representatives may attend. Media teams will be escorted to exercises, when practical.




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