10:01am

Tue May 17, 2011
The Commonwealth

"Victims" Act Out Earthquake Exercise

The Federal Emergency Management Agency is conducting an exercise this week in the New Madrid Seismic Zone, which covers much of Kentucky. FEMA will conduct various simulations and drills to test the federal, state and local response to a devastating earthquake on the New Madrid Fault. Among the participants will be about 30 of the University of Louisville’s standardized patients, who act out various maladies during disaster drills. Program director Carrie Bohnert says the patients have been trained to simulate common earthquake-related injuries.

“Some very typical…no physical injury but patients who are experiencing symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder to patients who were at Western Baptist Hospital post-surgery and received crush injuries all the way to patients who are having symptoms of dehydration,” she says.

The patients will participate in drills in Paducah on Wednesday. Bohnert says the simulation is meant to help state and federal responders coordinate their medical treatment procedures. FEMA exercises will be conducted all this week in various parts of Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois and Missouri.

The Louisville Metro Urban Search and Rescue Team will work with federal officials on a structure collapse drill tomorrow afternoon.