'Dirty bomb' scenario to test emergency response to a radio-nuclear event

    TORONTO, March 27 /CNW/ - Are Ontario's hospitals and emergency personnel
ready for a "dirty bomb" incident that may incite widespread panic? On
Saturday, Mar. 29, a staged exercise will test the ability of hospital staff,
emergency workers and college students to deal with a fictional, dirty bomb
explosion that could potentially overwhelm hospital resources.
    This simulation is intended to show health care professionals how to
manage the patient load resulting from a dirty bomb explosion on Highway 401
that sends auto accident victims to hospital, along with hundreds of others
who panic when they hear that a van involved in the crash was carrying a crude
bomb that created a radioactive dust plume.
    Simulation participants will include Rouge Valley Health System staff,
physicians, nurses, allied health professionals, security, social work and
other crisis support planners, as well as hospital administrators, risk
managers and educators. RVHS consists of the Ajax-Pickering Hospital and
Scarborough Centenary Hospital, the two most likely facilities to have to
respond to a radio-nuclear event.
    The live mass-casualty exercise caps a one-day conference that will
examine CBRN (chemical, biological, radiation and nuclear) readiness among
Ontario hospitals and their communities. Unlike a nuclear bomb, a dirty bomb
is called a weapon of mass disruption due to its ability to incite panic in
the public. Organizers will be watching to see how hospital staff deals with a
large influx of local residents looking to be checked for radiation exposure,
among other issues.
    The Centennial HP Science and Technology Centre will function as a
simulated hospital for the live exercise. Students will role-play as well as
work as non-urgent clinic personnel. Students from Centennial College, George
Brown College, The Michener Institute, the University of Toronto and Ryerson
University will be working alongside health care professionals in this
chillingly realistic simulation.
    Media are invited to witness this unique exercise and speak with

    Date:        Saturday, March 29
    Time:        9:30 am to noon (live exercise)
    Location:    Centennial HP Science and Technology Centre
                 755 Morningside Ave. at Ellesmere (just south of Hwy 401),
                 Scarborough ON

For further information:

For further information: Media contact: Mark Toljagic, Communications
Officer, Centennial College, (416) 289-5000, ext. 7142, or (416) 605-6012,

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