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Chambersburg Area Middle School North hosts emergency drill

April 17, 2013|By JENNIFER FITCH | waynesboro@herald-mail.com

SCOTLAND, Pa. — As teenage athletes left Chambersburg Area Middle School North on Wednesday evening, firetrucks and other emergency vehicles descended on the parking lot for a drill related to an mock attack at a nuclear power plant.

Emergency services officials planned to set up decontamination tents and assess potential shelter operations related to a disaster at the Three Mile Island plant south of Harrisburg, Pa. Evacuees from the Steelton area near the plant are supposed to head to Chambersburg, Pa., if the worst happens.

“Franklin County, like Adams County next to us, is a reception site in case there is an accident at Three Mile Island,” said Dave Donohue, director of the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services.

A Three Mile Island reactor core suffered a partial meltdown March 28, 1979.

The Franklin County Department of Emergency Services participated in a two-day drill this week regarding evacuations. The agency was joined by several fire departments, amateur radio operators, emergency medical services operators, the American Red Cross of the Cumberland Valley, and representatives of the Pennsylvania Emergency Management Agency and Federal Emergency Management Agency.

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“This gives us the opportunity to plan, prepare and act in a controlled environment,” Donohue said.

During the drill, Allen White from the American Red Cross organized volunteers for a shelter in the school.

“We can’t do it without volunteers,” White said, saying the organization always needs more volunteers.

Volunteers would typically be working 12-hour shifts for a shelter. White said the shelter will address basic needs, including meals.

“Anyone in the impacted area would be sent to us because we’re a host agency,” he said.

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