From Wednesday, March 28, 1979, to Wednesday, April 4, 1979, Dauphin County, Pennsylvania, was in a state of near-panic in response to the Three Mile Island nuclear accident. The Dauphin County Office of Emergency Preparedness quickly attempted to develop a plan to evacuate not only the population of an area 20 miles in radius from the plant but the short-term and long-term care medical facilities as well. For medical evacuation, a system of classification of patients was defined and matched to needed transportation. Furthermore, a critical coordinating link was established with the Hospital Association of Pennsylvania to identify and categorize relocation beds in receiving hospitals far from the incident site in the event of evacuation. Just as this incident was unusual, so too were the planning activities unique since they were never before conceived or accomplished.
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