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Format: 04/20/2014
Format: 04/20/2014

News

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Hospital coordinator anticipates unknown during G-20 summit

Thursday, September 10th, 2009

By Steve Twedt

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fred Peterson's job requires the mind of a military strategist and the imagination of a Hollywood screenwriter.

Mr. Peterson, vice president for professional services and emergency management at the Hospital Council of Western Pennsylvania, is a key player in ensuring that Pittsburgh-region hospitals are ready for medical emergencies during the G-20 summit.

Since July, he has been meeting with local public safety leaders and hospital officials to go over the multitude of possible scenarios when world leaders and protestors converge on Pittsburgh in two weeks.

Mr. Peterson knows it won't take mass casualties, or an assassination attempt, to disrupt the system. With only three adult trauma centers in Pittsburgh -- AGH, UPMC Presbyterian and UPMC Mercy -- all it would take is one world leader's serious injury from a fall to tie up one hospital, a half-dozen critically injured demonstrators at another, and the city would be down to one available trauma center.

"One of the greatest challenges is the unknown," he said. "We're trying to find that delicate balance between over-reaction and under-preparedness."

Individual hospitals are doing their part, too, as evidenced by yesterday's mock G-20 disaster drill at Allegheny General and West Penn hospitals. The University of Pittsburgh Medical Center held a similar drill in the last two weeks.

 

To read more, visit the Post-Gazette web site.
 

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