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Hudson Valley News

Dutchess County Hosts Nation's Largest Mass Fatality Training Exercise

In the event a major catastrophe should strike the Hudson Valley, one county has put together a plan designed to meet emergency head-on. Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Dave Lucas reports

Taking a regional approach to disaster preparedness, Dutchess County today wrapped up its third annual "Regional Mass Fatality Management Response System Training"

Dutchess County Emergency Response Coordinator Dana Smith explains the training event focuses on the aftermath of a disaster – the documentation, recovery, investigation, storage and processing victims for the purpose of accurately identifying the deceased and returning them to their loved ones, when possible.

Dutchess County Medical Examiner Dr. Kari Reiber says that the processing of a mass casualty incident can take a protracted period of time: she cites as an example the World Trade Center attacks on 911, noting remains are still being identified more than 10 years after.

Reiber says the simulation drill addressed fatality management involving mass casualties occurring within Dutchess County. She believes that, in the case of a disaster "There is only one chance to get it right."