9/16/07 MRC GEM members respond to Mall of Georgia simulated terrorist attack

MRC dispensing medicationsGwinnett fire, police, public health, and homeland security and mall officials teamed up for the first time to stage a weapons of mass destruction drill to see just how well they'd do in a real incident involving a dangerous or deadly substance. This was also the first major field exercise in which MRC GEM participated. Decontamination of first respondersThe five-hour drill coincided with the September commemoration of National Preparedness Month. The mock emergency was designed around two suspects, one of whom set off an explosive device in the mall's food court that released a white powder simulating airborne anthrax. The suspect was armed and supposedly barricaded elsewhere in the mall. Gwinnett Hazmat unitMRC GEM members, in conjunction with EMHD personnel, established a "mini POD" (point of distribution) to dispense preventative medications to all shoppers, mall and store employees, and responders who might have come into contact with the "anthrax" after they were decontaminated by a special unit of the fire department.