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Dispatch center aces Y2K test

July 23, 1999

Washington County's Emergency Operations/911 Dispatch Center performed well in a statewide Y2K emergency preparedness exercise Thursday, said Washington County Public Information Officer Norman Bassett.

The exercise included 17 different mock drills, ranging from inoperative gas pumps to a plane crash. It was conducted by the Maryland Emergency Management Agency.

Agency representative Kip Kemboi watched how the state and county responded to problems during the drills and praised the county staff led by County Emergency Operations Manager Ron Karn.

"The staff is proven to be extremely competent and skilled in their abilities to respond, despite the limitations," Kemboi said.

The exercise, from 10 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. Thursday, was intended to simulate possible problems from 10 p.m. New Year's Eve to 2:45 a.m. New Year's Day, 2000. Some believe problems will occur on Jan. 1 as computers become confused about whether it is 1900 or 2000.

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"We are fortunate in Washington County that we have emergency personnel who are properly trained in how to respond," Karn said.

- Scott Butki

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