News Release:

Nov. 8,  2011

Tale of Our Cities: Anti-Terrorism Conference Links Atlanta with International Leaders

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Atlanta's emergency preparedness and response leaders will plan for a coordinated response to urban terrorism at the upcoming conference “The Tale of Our Cities: Planning for Interdisciplinary Response to Terrorist Use of Explosives.” The conference takes place Nov. 9, 2011 at Twelve Atlantic Station.

The Atlanta conference will build on the outcomes and successes of previous Tale of Our Cities meetings recently held across the United States. The goal is to bring together leadership to "save lives and build resilience" in response to terrorism events involving explosives by identifying solutions for preparing and responding to mass casualty events.

Organizers include the Emory Office of Critical Event Preparedness and Response (CEPAR), the Georgia Department of Public Health, Grady Memorial Hospital, the Department of Emergency Medicine at Emory University School of Medicine, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

"Most terrorist bombings to date have occurred outside the United States, thus few U.S. civilian acute care providers and administrators have experience with the clinical and systems challenges presented by these events," notes Alex Isakov, MD, MPH, executive director of the Emory CEPAR. “Solid preparation is critical given the unique and potentially disastrous nature of these events."

"The Tale of Our Cities project was designed to bridge this gap by bringing together key leaders from selected countries with experience in preparing for and responding to terrorist explosive events with public health, health care, first responders, homeland security and military representatives in the U.S. who are actively planning for such events," adds Scott Sasser, MD, associate professor of emergency medicine at Emory, and director of the Department of Emergency Medicine's International Programs. "The project provides a setting and considerable opportunity for sharing experiences, along with dialogue and interaction."

The six U.S. cities that have participated in Tale of Our Cities workshops and conferences thus far are New York, Washington, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles and San Francisco. 

The selected international participants, all of whom had critical leadership roles in responding to major terrorist explosive attacks, include: the Chief Superintendent for the London Police, New Scotland Yard; emergency medical services (EMS) and hospital clinical leadership from Madrid; the Director General of Health for the Ministry of Health in Pakistan; the former surgeon general of the Israel Defense Forces Home Front Command; and several clinical hospital and trauma center leads for terrorist attacks in New Delhi and Mumbai, India. 

The conference is free and open to the public, but registration is required at


The Robert W. Woodruff Health Sciences Center of Emory University is an academic health science and service center focused on missions of teaching, research, health care and public service.

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