Hundreds take part in major medical disaster drill
HONOLULU - Chaos and emotions running high amid a major medical disaster at Blaisdell Center in Honolulu, but don't worry-- it's a drill.
Hawaii Department of Health (HDOH) and several partner agencies took part in a full scale exercise Thursday morning to help prepare medical responders for bio-terrorism and other big emergencies.
"Bio-terrorism, influenza, if there is a chemical disaster, industrial accident, these are all protocols that we can use these type of steps to medicate the population," said Terry Visperas, with HDOH.
More than 550 volunteers took part in the full-scale drill. Ron Halverson with the US Marshals Service says HDOH is required to test their ability to do a mass distribution for medication every five years. Responders must distribute medication as quickly as possible.
"They are under a time limit to distribute medicine to the entire population," said Halverson.
Actors help medical responders bring the emergency scenario to life. As the go through each step, they're simulating a response to an anthrax outbreak. HDOH says the scenario will give responders a chance to take a closer look at any challenges or shortfalls, so the state can be more effective in how it handles emergencies.