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Local emergency responders prepare for worst scenario

by: PHOTO BY: STAFF SGT. APRIL DAVIS - Firefighters decontaminate and triage victims of a simulated bioterrorism attack at the Armed Forces Reserve Center during the PACE Setter (Portland Area Capabilities Exercise) at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas on March 22. The purpose of the exercise was to test regional and interagency response to public health incidents affecting multiple agencies.A number of regional agencies participated in a simulated bioterrorism attack exercise to evaluate interagency and regional response at Camp Withycombe in Clackamas on Wednesday, May 22.

According to Brandon Paxton, spokesman for Clackamas Fire District No. 1, participants got the opportunity to practice and coordinate incident-related roles and responsibilities in response to a mock domestic emergency involving a bioterrorist attack.

The “Portland Area Capabilities Exercise” involved agencies from Clackamas, Clark, Washington, Multnomah and Columbia counties, including the fire departments of Canby, Gladstone and Boring, American Medical Response, Metro West Ambulance, Life Flight, the Clackamas County Medical Examiner’s Office, American Red Cross, Clackamas County’s Office of Emergency Management and the county’s Department of Communications.

The Oregon National Guard’s 102 Civil Support Team provided observers and evaluators for the exercise.




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