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Published on November 04, 2013

Joint drill helps prepare community agencies for actual emergency

As part of a joint effort to meet emergency response standards and prepare for potential emergent situations in the future, a number of area first responders along with the two Cedar Rapids hospitals and other local agencies are partnering this week to conduct a mock disaster DRILL. The drill takes place on Wednesday, Nov. 6, beginning at 5:30 p.m., at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center on the Mercy Medical Center campus, 701 10th St. SE. The drill is being conducted after normal business hours at the Cancer Center when patients are not being seen.

The drill will help test the community’s joint response in the case of an active shooter/gunman in a public building. It will also give local medical providers at Mercy Medical Center and Unity Point Health–St. Luke’s Hospital a chance to respond to a crisis scenario involving a surge of critical patients. Student actors will play the role of injured patients.  

The drill will be monitored by multiple safety controllers and no Mercy or St. Luke’s patients or visitors will be directly involved. Advance notification has been given to Mercy staff and patients in case they see or hear any of the activities related to this mock scenario.

Area law enforcement, fire and EMS agencies will have an obvious presence on and around the Mercy campus as the drill is being conducted.  We are asking the media to help communicate this information to the public.

The media is also invited to cover the drill for purposes of educating and informing the public on this joint response initiative. We ask that members of the media arrive at the Hall-Perrine Cancer Center promptly at 5:30 p.m. for a briefing on the drill. Immediately following the briefing, the media will have the opportunity to conduct interviews and take photos and/or video of portions of the drill.                                           

Questions may be directed to Greg Buelow, Cedar Rapids Fire Dept., at (319) 286-5163.

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