VA Western New York Healthcare System
Community Readiness Tested for Terrorist Bombing
Practicing for a disaster is an essential part of readiness for communities. Emergency preparedness groups participated in a readiness exercise at the Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Saturday, July 12. Fourteen agencies including Department of Veterans Affairs, Pittsburgh, PA 911th Airlift Wing, New York State, Erie County, Buffalo Niagara International Airport, Cheektowaga, Amherst, local area hospitals and transport systems participated in the drill. The exercise was to carryout emergency preparedness for a mock terrorist bombing at the Little League World Series in Williamsport, PA resulting in mass casualties and fatalities. Western New York was activated for the reception of 30 patients to assist with the overwhelmed Williamsport hospital system.
Gregory McQuaide, VA Emergency Preparedness Coordinator states, “It’s important to be prepared for emergencies whether they originate here or somewhere else. This drill gives our community the readiness to respond and a chance to work and get to know our community partners.”
Buffalo was one of three cities in the exercise practicing their community readiness. Communities must assess availability of hospital beds that can accept patients along with testing the systems for triage, transport and other factors.