Simulation Software vs. the Terrorists

Cutting-edge programs can both help train rescue workers and help security officials pinpoint weak spots before the bad guys can

A year ago, the Homeland Security Dept., the FBI, and other agencies conducted five-day drills near Seattle and Chicago. As part of this first-ever, national counterterrorism exercise, 8,500 people from some 100 organizations responded to simulated car bombs and biological attacks. Hundreds of "patients" -- mostly drama students -- showed up at the local hospitals faking flu-like symptoms or cuts and burns. All told, the exercise was a success, but it cost upwards of $16 million and stole precious time from doctors who could have been treating real patients.

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