Morning Emergency Exercise Planned for Bethesda

By Steve Vogel
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, October 17, 2007; 4:44 PM

A mass casualty exercise involving simulated smoke, helicopters and emergency vehicles will be held tomorrow at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda, authorities said.

The drill, meant to test medical readiness and emergency response in the Washington region, will also involve Suburban Hospital and National Institutes of Health Clinical Center, according to officials.

The scenario being simulated involves car bombs and a "dirty bomb" radiological explosion and will include more than five dozen people dressed up as casualties.

Smoke and emergency vehicle activity may be visible along Rockville Pike and Jones Bridge Road during the exercise running from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., authorities said.

The exercise includes more than 5,000 participants from the hospitals, military commands, National Guard, Walter Reed Army Medical Center and Montgomery County Fire and Rescue Service.

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