NEWS RELEASE AND MEDIA ADVISORY
June 15, 2015
Lawrence, Kan.—A full-scale emergency exercise will take place in Lawrence Thursday, June 18. Participating agencies include Douglas County Emergency Management, Kansas University Public Safety, Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical, Lawrence Memorial Hospital, Lawrence Police Department, Douglas County Sheriff’s Office, Kansas Highway Patrol, Douglas County Emergency Communications Center, Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center and Lawrence-Douglas County Health Department.
The exercise will run from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., and the scenario will simulate a transportation-related hazardous materials incident on Kansas University’s West Campus. Law enforcement, fire and medical units will respond to the simulated incident in the Lied Center parking lot, where Lawrence-Douglas County Fire Medical personnel will practice hazardous materials and patient-handling procedures. Lawrence Memorial Hospital will exercise its medical surge and patient decontamination plans, and Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center will activate its emergency response team. Douglas County Emergency Management will activate the Emergency Operations Center and a Joint Information Center, Kansas University also will exercise its Emergency Operations Center and LMH will activate its Hospital Incident Command Center.
The exercise is funded by a Hazardous Materials Emergency Planning grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. “Exercises like this give our local emergency response agencies a valuable opportunity not only to practice their plans and procedures, but also to practice coordinating a multi-agency response to a major incident,” said Teri Smith, director of Douglas County Emergency Management.
Media organizations wishing to cover the exercise should contact Bob Newton, Douglas County Emergency Management Public Information Officer, at 785-331-5787 or firstname.lastname@example.org for specific instructions. Venues available for escorted access for coverage—particularly for photo and video opportunities—will be the simulated incident site at the Lied Center parking lot and at Lawrence Memorial Hospital Emergency Department. Exercise participants will not be available for interviews during the exercise, but public information officer escorts will arrange interviews with fire medical and hospital officials.