In Bangor, Maine, a coalition of first responders and emergency workers from eight eastern Maine communities came together on Thursday to prepare for the "zombie apocalypse," reports Bangor's NBC affiliate station WLBZ, Channel 2. Firefighters, police and health care workers took part in the day-long exercise, which was staged by the Northeast Maine Regional Resource Center (NMRRC), according to the Maine Sun-Journal.
The operation was intended as a lighthearted way to answer questions that could turn deadly serious in the event of an actual killer flu pandemic or other real-life emergency.
Representatives of the Maine National Guard, nurses, firefighters, amateur radio operators and representatives of public health and safety organizations like the Maine Center for Disease Control and Prevention posed questions like, "How would an outbreak of pandemic disease first present itself? What first responders and government agencies would be responsible for attempting to contain it? How would vital resources be transported and distributed to citizens in need? Who gets priority if there isn't enough medicine to go around?"
Don Wade is an expert at moulage — the art of casting and creating fake injuries for the purpose of training emergency personnel — and was brought in make volunteers look like zombies at varying stages of undead-ness and putrefaction. He has volunteered for dozens of mass casualty drills over the years, but said that his first brush with depicting zombie injuries posed special challenges to his skills.
“Usually, it’s cuts, burns, amputation and heart attacks and that kind of thing. I have all the props for that. Today was the first time I ever had to do zombies. [NMRRC official Kathy Knight] asked me and I couldn’t refuse,” he told the Sun-Journal.
Meanwhile, in Miami, Florida, Miami-Dade officials have moved to outlaw the sales of the synthetic drug mephedrone, which is sold under the name "bath salts." The drug, which has been declared provisionally illegal in the U.S., is still available in many places, including Miami, where on May 26, 31-year-old Rudy Eugene attacked 65-year-old Ronald Poppo, a homeless man, and bit more than half the skin off of his face.
Eugene was shot to death by police when he refused to stop assaulting the older man. His toxicology results have not yet been released to the public, but evidence that included half-digested pills found in his stomach on autopsy, points to a medphedrone overdose, which produces confusion, delirium and sometimes extreme aggression.
Wired magazine recently reported about the difficulty that police and health officials are having getting these drugs off the street. Legislators and law enforcement find themselves engaged in a game of chemical "Whac-a-Mole" as the labs that produce the drugs tweak the formulas just enough to keep them legal while still producing the same effects in users.
According to the Miami Herald, "The county ordinance won preliminary approval with a unanimous vote and without discussion Tuesday. It is up for final approval on July 3."
Watch video about the Maine zombie apocalypse drill, embedded via WLBZ, below: