Emergency exercise planned at Arlington Hospital Saturday morning

Given the recent massive emergency responses at the Washington Navy Yard and on Capitol Hill, an Arlington fire and emergency training exercise Saturday is particularly well-timed.

Fire and emergency responders, working with the Virginia Hospital Center, will stage a simulated fire and evacuation at an isolated wing of the hospital, 1701 N George Mason Dr., from 6 a.m. to noon.

“Whenever you get the opportunity to train fire and police and the Office of Emergency Management, it just makes perfectly good sense,” said John Crawford, a spokesman for OEM. “The fire department has been putting out fires for a very long time, and they know how to do it, but in this case we will be working with hospital staff in the removal and evacuation of patients... This is something we don’t generally practice.”

The exercise will not affect normal hospital operations, officials said. It will test response times, collaboration and patient care. More than 10 responding emergency vehicles will be involved, but they will not use their lights or sirens.

Patricia Sullivan seeks out news about Alexandria and Arlington County for the Washington Post.
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