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Emergency Scenario Plays Out Thursday
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Stanislaus County Health Services Agency will be participating in a statewide exercise sponsored by the California Department of Public Health and the California Emergency Medical Services Authority, with the event set for Thursday, Nov. 15.

County Health Services Agency spokeswoman Julie Falkenstein said the exercise "will be based on an earthquake scenario" and consist of a "building collapse" at Ralston Tower with fire services personnel testing search and rescue capabilities and ambulance service providers testing field triage and treatment capabilities.

Ralston Tower is at 900 17th St., Modesto, and the simulation will see the closure of I Street in downtown Modesto between Downey and 17th streets from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The actual event will run from 8 a.m. to noon and play out as a real-life emergency situation, though it will be simulated.

"Law enforcement and public works personnel will participate in security and traffic operations and area hospitals will exercise their ability to handle patient surge during a mass casualty incident," added Falkenstein. "This exercise will provide the entire emergency operations community with an opportunity to prepare for the effects of a major earthquake in the area."

Organizers estimate roughly 150 volunteers and staff from various agencies will be on site at Ralston Tower participating in the exercise in various activities, including conducting search and rescue operations, triaging and transporting patients.

Agencies and organizations taking part in the event are scheduled to include: Stanislaus County Office of Emergency Services, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency, Stanislaus County Community Services Agency, Behavioral Health and Recovery Services, Modesto Regional Fire Authority, Modesto Police Department, Modesto Public Works, Mountain Valley Emergency Medical Services Agency, American Medical Response, ProTransport-1, Doctors Medical Center, Kaiser Permanente, Oak Valley Hospital District, Memorial Medical Center, Emanuel Medical Center, Golden Valley Health Centers and the American Red Cross.