URI to host emergency decontamination exercise at Ryan Center

Operation Downpour to be held Thursday, Aug. 3

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862 |

WHAT: Operation Downpour, an emergency decontamination exercise. Designed at the request of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the University of Hertfordshire (United Kingdom), in partnership with the Rhode Island Department of Health, Department of Environmental Management, North Providence Fire Department, North Kingstown Fire Department, Kingston Fire Department, Hopkins Hill Fire District and the University of Rhode Island.

The exercise is part of a research project to help improve emergency response decontamination practices. Operation Downpour will involve the evacuation and subsequent decontamination of volunteers who have been exposed to simulated chemicals. This cutting-edge research could change the way decontamination is conducted. The exercise will examine different emergency response procedures for decontaminating/cleaning large numbers of people who have potentially been exposed to toxic materials. Once the exercise is complete, a small number of participants will be made available to the media, as well as officials who conducted the exercise.

ASPR’s Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA),
along with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security published a national planning guide for communities on patient decontamination in a mass exposure incident. This guide presents evidence-based principles for managing patient decontamination from a community-wide perspective.

WHEN: August 3, 2017, 2:30 to 3 p.m. Reporters should report at 2 p.m.

WHERE: Ryan Center, University of Rhode Island, 1 Lincoln Almond Plaza, Kingston, R.I. Parking for media is available in a marked area of the Plains Road parking lot.

Please contact Dave Lavallee, URI Marketing and Communications at 401-874-5862. Lavallee can also be reached at his cell number, 401-465-4291. Media should also register at https://www.eventbrite.com/createinvite?eid=35634883897.