Hospitals prepare for G-20 summit in Pittsburgh

Emergency Management Alert, September 15, 2009

Pittsburgh-region hospitals are preparing for the city to host the G-20 summit, which hosts leaders from around the world, by running intensive emergency drills, reports the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Fred Peterson, vice president for professional services and emergency management at the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, is a key leader in the drills. Though mass casualties and assassination attempts would obviously disrupt the healthcare system, Peterson told the Gazette that with only three adult trauma centers in Pittsburgh, a much less severe incident, such as a serious injury to a world leader after a fall, would create problems, tying up one hospital.

Though Peterson says historically, emergency visits drop during such times, the area hospitals are staying alert and prepared through drills, one of which included a scripted scenario in which a demonstration crowd of 5,000 marched, resulting in fights, explosions, gassings created 18 fake injuries, one fake death and two fake burn patients.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

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