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For Release: September 15, 2004

Justin Fitzgerald
Media Relations Office

Lori J. Rachul
Media Relations Office


An exercise to test the readiness of the NASA Glenn Research Center and local agencies to respond to an aircraft incident will be held tomorrow, Thursday, September 16 from 9 - 10 a.m. on the Center's tarmac.

The drill will simulate an emergency response to a fire on board NASA's KC-135 aircraft that is taxiing to the Glenn hangar. The event is designed to test and strengthen the disaster preparedness procedures among Glenn, Brook Park and Fairview Park Fire Departments, Cleveland Hopkins Airport Crash Rescue, and Fairview and Southwest General Hospitals.

Employees at the Center will play the role of victims of the simulated emergency and will be seen lying on the ground at the site undergoing simulated treatment by emergency personnel. This helps create a realistic event that will help the rescue crews, local hospitals and Glenn employees perform as if an actual emergency is occurring.

Victims arriving at Fairview Hospital will be immediately triaged at the emergency department, and the hospital's Code Orange team will treat those individuals who need decontamination. The Code Orange team, which practices monthly to stay prepared, is Fairview's designated hospital-wide decontamination team.

This drill will help each agency experience first hand problems which text book and classroom training may not have focused on. By playing out a situation like this, emergency response crews can flush out any communication and/or procedural breakdowns.

"Since we always strive for excellence, training situations like these help us work on any potential weak points," said Jeff Wagner of Glenn's Safety Office. "The drill will also provide an opportunity for all the agencies to train together and establish stronger working relationships."

"By participating in this exercise," Ray Hewitt, Fairview's Director of Security, explains, "we'll focus on our ability to receive and handle mass casualties from a terrorist attack or another type of disaster in the community, such as an industrial accident, which may involve chemicals. Our overall goal is to react in a timely way to treat victims as quickly as possible, regardless of the situation."

Safety is the cornerstone upon which NASA builds success. Testing various emergency scenarios is vitally important in the event of a major accident. Advanced preparation by the emergency response team will help reduce or prevent loss of life and injury, facilities and equipment in the future.

Note to Editors/News Directors: Media representatives wishing to cover the event should contact Justin Fitzgerald, Lori Rachul or Glenn's Media Relations Office (216-433-2901) in order to be cleared through security and escorted to the event.



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