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S.D. County Stages Dirty Bomb Drill

— Public safety agencies from throughout San Diego County took part today in a mock dirty bomb response drill in San Marcos in conjunction with the statewide "Golden Guardian" terrorism readiness exercise.

As part of the exercise at Cal State University San Marcos, hazardous materials teams, law enforcement and fire department personnel and a medical strike team practiced decontaminating a radiological incident and treated mock patients in the field.

Area hospitals and clinics were also involved to test their ability to respond to a mass casualty incident involving trauma, burns and radiation exposure and detection, according to the San Diego County Office of Emergency Services.

"Since 9/11, our region has developed and refined terrorism response plans, conducted training and purchased equipment to better prepare us in the event of an attack," said OES Director Ron Lane. "Today's exercise is the culmination of those efforts and validates the preparedness of every agency involved in the exercise."

Agencies involved in the drill included the Sheriff's Department, county departments of Environmental Health, Health and Human Services and OES. Also participating in the exercise were public safety officials from all 18 cities in the county, six federal agencies, 27 hospitals and clinics and private organizations, including the American Red Cross and San Diego Gas & Electric.

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