Colorado to test emergency patient transfer during exercise

Juliann Bertone, Communications Specialist, 303-692-6307
DENVER: Today, Monday, April 22, emergency planners and health care staff throughout Colorado are participating in a special pathogen patient transfer exercise designed to test response procedures during a health crisis. The exercise tests the state's ability to effectively implement its emergency response plans to prevent an outbreak of a highly infectious disease spreading in Colorado.
Exercises are a safe way for individual agencies to integrate their current plans with the state’s response system and test the effectiveness of a collective response to a health threat. To promote collaboration and cooperation, this exercise includes the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Children’s Hospital Colorado, University of Colorado Hospital, Denver Health, Cheyenne Regional Medical Center, Denver Paramedics, Flight for Life, WY AMR EMS, Tri-County Health Department, Denver Department of Public Health and Environment, Denver Public Health, and the Wyoming Department of Public Health.  
In particular, this full-scale exercise will focus on the state's ability to transfer 12 mock special pathogen patients. As part of the exercise, the state will transport these “patients” from the Centennial Airport and a Wyoming hospital.
"Coloradans can be assured there is currently no threat of a spreading disease," said Dane Matthew director of the department’s Office of Emergency Preparedness and Response. "We are mobilizing to prepare for public health emergency scenarios and to be as ready as possible. This exercise is one of many drills we have been conducting around the state to practice and test our response."
Participants have customized the exercise to focus on specific strengths and gaps prioritized statewide. Response plans will be used to practice emergency processes and help identify training needs, best practices and areas for emergency preparedness improvement.