Emergency Exercise Lacks Volunteer Actors

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District One, which includes nine counties in Mid-Michigan, held their Emergency Preparedness Exercise on Friday. The disaster drill tested the area's ability to handle various pandemic situations.

This exercise specifically dealt with the bird flu. For several weeks the District One Medical Response Coalition has been asking for volunteer actors to simulate sick patients. But according to Dr. Dean Sienko of the Ingham County Health Department, the turn-out was disappointing.

"We can treat one or two people without a problem, look at all the people you got back there. We can handle five, 10, 20 coming through. But we need to have 200, 400, 600, people, a big line of people to see how well we do things."

Each health center will do their own internal evaluations to see which areas need more work. There will also be an overall evaluation of District One. All nine counties participated in the drill simultaneously.