CHESTERTOWN — Emergency services personnel across Kent County will be participating in a drill Thursday, June 9, to train major stakeholders in the event of an infectious disease outbreak in the community. This simulation will help strengthen emergency response protocols for all of the organizations involved in the drill while providing practical experience for the personnel taking part.

Exercises will be held on Washington College’s campus and in Shore Medical Center at Chestertown throughout the day. The Kent County Office of Emergency Services, Washington College, Shore Medical Center at Chestertown, the Kent County Health Department, Kent County Emergency Medical Service and Kent-Queen Anne’s Rescue Squad will be taking part in the drills. The purpose of the drills is to give the agencies a dry run on procedures, public relations and other aspects of a real emergency operation.

To make it realistic, most of the participants won’t know exactly what to expect in advance of the exercise, Michael O’Connor, associate vice president of college relations at Washington College, said in a phone interview Tuesday, May 31. “The scenarios are created by the groups running the exercise,” he said.

As in a real emergency, there will be surprises and unexpected complications, O’Connor said. But a well-prepared organization should be able to adapt to circumstances and use its established routines and procedures even when things take an unanticipated turn

All of the agencies involved would like to ensure that no local residents are surprised by the proceedings, which may involve participating agencies using medical equipment or moving “patients” to and from exercise locations. “We wanted to make sure the public doesn’t freak out if they see someone on a stretcher on Campus Avenue,” he said.

For more information, contact O’Connor at 410-778-7268 or email moconnor2@washcoll.edu.

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