Workers from three Bethesda medical centers staged a disaster drill last week to test their response to potential radiation exposure.
It was the first time that the National Naval Medical Center, Suburban Hospital, the National Institutes of Health and Montgomery County emergency services, collaborated to plan and practice the emergency procedures as a team.
"It seemed to go smoothly," said Cornelia Schultz, deputy public affairs officer for the National Naval Medical Center. "We learned a lot from this partnership, and we're looking forward to continuing it."
Under the simulated scenario, about 75 people were hurt after a terrorist got onto the grounds at the National Naval Medical Center and released a dirty bomb. Rescue workers measured how long it took them to respond to the emergency and took the victims through decontamination procedures in portable shelters. In addition, other staff tested their ability to deal with family members and others trying to find out what happened.
"We looked at every level of care," Schultz said.