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International Conference to Discuss Counter-Terrorism, Emergency Preparedness

Release Date: 11/16/2001
Contact Information: Roy Seneca 215-814-5567

Contacts: Lena Kim (215)814-3117; Roy Seneca (215)814-5567

BALTIMORE – Counter-terrorism, emergency preparedness and environmental safety will compete for top billing here Dec. 9-13 when more than 1,600 rescue personnel, community leaders and international representatives will learn the best ways to combat terrorism at one of the nation’s largest gathering of emergency responders since the September 11 terrorist attacks.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s bi-annual Chemical Emergency Preparedness and Prevention (CEPP) Conference, which will be held at the Marriott Waterfront in Baltimore’s Inner Harbor, will examine timely and real-life scenarios in workshops and exercises to train emergency responders from around the world.

Due to the September 11 attacks and the nation’s anthrax scare, the mid-Atlantic regional conference has grown into a much larger scale event. Scheduled speakers include EPA administrator Christine Todd Whitman, Baltimore Mayor Martin O’Malley, and Congressman Curt Weldon, a senior member of the House Armed Services Committee.

An entire day will be dedicated to analyzing lessons learned and first hand accounts from the attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.

Despite the growth of this year’s CEPP conference, the mission remains the same – providing an exclusive national forum where police and fire personnel, local emergency managers, planners and representatives from the environmental, transportation, utilities and medical fields come together to learn the latest techniques, trends and technologies in preparing for toxic chemical spills, explosions, civil disturbances and terrorist attacks.

Topics include emergency planning for people with disabilities; hospital management of chemical/biological incidents; how to decontaminate victims of an attack, and how the Centers for Disease Control establishes stockpiles of medication needed to support massive medical responses to terrorist incidents. Scheduled attendees from other countries include India, Ireland, Singapore and Denmark.

The conference will also include a unique interactive tabletop demonstration that simulates counter-terrorism and transportation disasters in a miniature community that could represent any city in the world. Conference attendees and media representatives are encouraged to role-play on how they would respond to a disaster.

Special presentations include:

• Chuck Burris of the New York City Transit System will discuss strategies for dealing with the release of hazardous materials in public transportation systems.

• Salt Lake City Fire Chief John Evans will review the safety and security preparations for the 2002 Olympics.

• Michael Wermuth of the RAND Corporation think tank will discuss assessing the domestic response capabilities for terrorism involving weapons of mass destruction.

• EPA will introduce its software “Computer Aided Management of Emergency Operations” (CAMEO) that will dramatically enhance planning and responding to chemical spills and explosions.

The four-day conference is sponsored by the EPA and hosted by the Greater Baltimore Local Emergency Planning Committees and Maryland Emergency Planning Agency.

Further conference information can be obtained by calling the registration hotline at 800-364-7974 or on-line at www.2001conference.org.

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