Biodesign Institute participates in first-of-its-kind 'coyote' disaster preparedness drill

A full year in planning, the first Coyote Crisis Campaign (CCC) culminated in a large-scale disaster drill during the week of April 24-28, 2006. The Biodesign Institute at ASU was among the participants facilitating emergency response coordination during a mass casualty crisis scenario.

Nationally, the exercise was the first major drill of its type between government, National Guard, healthcare, private industry and academic institutions. General Dynamics, Scottsdale Healthcare, the Arizona Air National Guard, the City of Scottsdale and the Biodesign Institute were among the key participants. Additional participants included representatives of National Guard units from seven states, Maricopa County, and other government agencies and military units. Observers from state government, the U.S. Northern Command and the Pentagon attended the exercise.

The Biodesign Institute's Center for Applied NanoBioscience, led by director Frederic Zenhausern, played a key role in developing disaster response technologies to two scenarios: a bioterrorism attack on a private company, General Dynamics C4 Systems in Scottsdale, and a radiological, or "dirty bomb" incident with the City of Scottsdale and Scottsdale Healthcare.

"Our center's focus is to develop a number of novel molecular-based diagnostic tests and devices that can be used by individuals and public health systems," said Zenhausern, also a professor of electrical engineering in the Fulton School of Engineering. "For our research center, participation in the Coyote Crisis Campaign was an exceptional opportunity to field test our emergency response technologies in a real-time disaster scenario."

The Coyote Crisis Campaign disaster drill tested emergency responses to a mock terrorist strike in Nevada and Arizona which had consequences for the greater Scottsdale area. The scenario began with explosions in Nevada to knock out large power grid in the Southwestern U.S.; large explosions at sever

Contact: Joe Caspermeyer
Arizona State University

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