San Jose Emergency Drill Organizers Seek Volunteers for Mock Nov. 14 Concert


 
 

Lisa Fernandez | | Monday, November 5, 2007


SAN JOSE, Calif.-- How would you like to spend the day inside a crowded stadium, pretending to vomit and being drenched in fake chemical gas? Sound like fun? Wait, there s more.

You won t get paid. But you will be helping local firefighters, police officers and paramedics practice for the biggest and most unusual emergency drill in California -- a mock bio-terrorist attack on Nov. 14 in Silicon Valley where 500 guests are attending an all-night rock concert at Municipal Stadium in San Jose.

Organizers say it s the first time in Santa Clara County that regular citizens en masse are being asked to participate in this type of drill, which California s 58 counties first began practicing in 2004, as fallout from the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The program, dubbed Golden Guardian, is funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and managed by the state Office of Homeland Security. A 2005 drill in Oakland featured a mock attack on a concert at McAfee Coliseum.

We ve always had victims, but they ve been off-duty professionals, said Tim Quigley, executive director of the Volunteer Center of Silicon Valley, a key partner of the operation. This is the first time we re testing the real population. It s one thing to be academic, but we wanted to test the strength of the system.

So Quigley is putting out a call to find 500 volunteers who will spend seven hours on Nov. 14 to role-play characters at a mock rock concert. (In reality, organizers will feature movies and live bands throughout the day, plus free breakfast and lunch.)

Any volunteer is welcome: That includes kids, senior citizens, people who don t speak English and disabled people who are in wheelchairs, deaf and blind.

We need a good demographic of Santa Clara County, Quigley said.

Norah Cullen, 52, of Los Gatos, has already signed up. She s a nurse at the San Andreas Regional Center in Campbell, serving a developmentally disabled population, and got the request in her work mailbox. She s happy to volunteer as a victim.

I was in the 89 earthquake in San Francisco and I want to do what I can to help, she said.

On drill day, volunteers will be handed cards with their character assignments. They might be asked to act like an obnoxious jerk, a timid grandma or someone who has just fainted after an unknown chemical gas has been released into the air.

The main story line of the day is that a bio-terrorist attack was unleashed on Silicon Valley, and now professionals must determine what to do. Real emergency professionals, about 50 to 100 firefighters, police, paramedics and public health officials, will be working hard that day, staging a makeshift hospital outside the stadium and treating victims for their aches and pains. All 15 cities in Santa Clara County and the county offices of emergency services are participating.

Even toddlers who show up will be put to good use.

If the mother pretends to faint, our emergency responders have to figure out how to take care of that child, Quigley said. We want this to be as real as possible.

IF YOU RE INTERESTED

To be one of the 500 volunteers, please pre-register by calling (408) 247-1126 or clicking on www.vcsv.us/ . Pre-registration is recommended, but drop-in volunteers are welcome that day too. The drill will be held at San Jose Municipal Stadium, 588 E. Alma Ave., on Nov. 14 from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact Lisa Fernandez at lfernandez@mercurynews.com or (408) 920-5002.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, WMD and Terrorism, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS





 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

University of Pittsburgh STAAMP Trial

Trauma experts launch tranexamic acid trial.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New York Ambulance Service Begins Using Power Cot

Service is first in county with new technology.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Traffic Cam Captures Wisconsin Ambulance Crash

Driver of ambulance cited for failing to operate safely.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

New Mexico Hospital Mourns Helicopter Crash Victims

TriState CareFlight pilot and crew killed in crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Moscow Subway MCI

At least 20 dead and 150 injured in subway derailment.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Hands On July 2014

Check out the latest products and innovations in JEMS.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Wounded Veteran Resiliency

Marine is one of many in quality of life study.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

The AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher Conversion Kit - EMS Today 2013

AmbuBus®, Bus Stretcher all-hazards preparedness & response tool
Watch It >


More Product Videos >