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Metro Newsroom

Louisville, Neighboring Counties Boost Regional Emergency Response

Tuesday September 13, 2005

Disaster-response trailers heading to 13 hospitals, three local governments

Mayor Jerry Abramson today joined officials from Oldham and Shelby counties, and several regional hospitals to deploy a fleet of 16 new emergency-supply trailers to five counties on both sides of the Ohio River. The trailers will assist emergency personnel with on-site medical treatment or decontamination in the event of a major disaster.

The trailers are funded through $600,000 in federal grants obtained through the Louisville Metropolitan Medical Response System, a coalition of emergency-response and emergency-management agencies and organizations in Louisville and surrounding counties.

“Emergencies know no boundaries, so we work cooperatively with our neighboring communities to be prepared for life-saving response,” Abramson said. “We will be ready with an orchestrated, collaborative response whenever and wherever a crisis may occur,” the mayor said, noting September is National Preparedness Month.

One of three “mass-casualty” trailers will go to each of Louisville Metro, Oldham County and Shelby County governments. The mass-casualty trailer is designed to be transported onto the scene of a major disaster to provide ready access to a range of supplies, including stretchers, light stands, day-glow cones, oxygen masks, bull horns, power generators, and a full complement of medical and triage supplies.
“This type of collaboration, on a bipartisan basis, benefits all communities and residents,” said Oldham County Judge/Executive Mary Ellen Kinser.

Shelby County Judge/Executive Rob Rothenburger said the trailers were evidence of a “real partnership” among Louisville, Oldham and Shelby county governments.

“Jointly, we are so much better prepared, not only to handle these situations within our own jurisdictions, but also to provide assistance, when needed, to our neighbors, Rothenburger said. The other 13 trailers include portable decontamination equipment, to be used on-site at hospitals throughout the region, or redeployed to an incident scene. The decontamination trailers include an inflatable air shelter with separate air-controlled chambers for undress, detergent shower, rinse shower and redress, as well as a self-contained 100,000 BTU hot-water system.
The hospitals receiving the decontamination trailers are:

· Baptist Hospital Northeast, LaGrange
· Caritas Medical Center, Louisville
· Clark Memorial Hospital, Clarksville
· Floyd Memorial Hospital, New Albany
· Jewish Hospital, Louisville
· Jewish Hospital, Shelbyville
· Kosair Children’s Hospital
· Norton Hospital, Louisville
· Norton Audubon Hospital, Louisville
· Norton Suburban Hospital, Louisville
· Norton Southwest Hospital, Louisville
· University of Louisville Hospital
· Veterans’ Affairs Medical Center, Louisville

Baptist Hospital East in Louisville currently has a decontamination trailer that was purchased previously.

Dr. Bill Smock, chair of the Medical Subcommittee of the Louisville Metro Crisis Group said the trailers will provide all area hospitals the ability to treat contaminated patients in the event of chemical, biological or radiological release.
“The pre-deployment of the trailers at each hospital is a major advancement in Louisville Metro’s weapons-of-mass-destruction response plan that will protect the citizens of the region,” Smock said.