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Herrmann team conducts research at TOPOFF 3

Associate Professor Jeffrey Herrmann (ME/ISR) and his students conducted a time study of a dispensing clinic during the week of April 4 as part of TOPOFF 3, the world's largest-ever terrorism response drill.

The exercise's scenario is that a vehicle has been used in central New Jersey to disperse a biological agent. Soon, seriously ill patients begin to overwhelm hospitals. The five-day exercise will be held in New Jersey's Middlesex and Union counties and is conducted by the Department of Homeland Security.

TOPOFF is designed to test the skills and equipment of federal, state and local agencies as it strains resources and reveals weaknesses. Simultaneously with the New Jersey mock attack, Connecticut will be hit by toxic chemicals and similar scenarios will unfold in Canada and the U.K.

Last June, Dr. Herrmann and seven Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) students assisted in a similar, but smaller scale and local exercise: a mass vaccination drill in Montgomery County, Md. There, the researchers were interested in finding ways to lessen the processing time for persons waiting to be vaccinated. They created a simulation model that evaluated several possible suggestions to improve the clinic's functionality.

You can read about last summer's mass vaccination clinic and the simulation model that Dr. Herrmann and his students later developed in this ISR Research Brief (PDF).

March 3, 2005


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