Traffic delays during morning commute; emergency training at Scripps

Motorists experienced temporary traffic delays during the morning commute today, from approximately 8 to 9 a.m. near the Genesee Avenue vehicle entrance to Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla, located at 9888 Genesee Ave.

The expected delays stemmed from an emergency training event at the hospital, where Scripps care givers and law enforcement personnel conducted a simulated response to a mock bio-terrorism attack. The event was part of Golden Phoenix 08, a coordinated training event that is taking place around the county July 21-24.

At approximately 8 a.m., two H-46 military helicopters landed on the helipad at the rear of Scripps La Jolla and dispatched two dozen law enforcement officers dressed in full decon gear. The officers proceeded to the main traffic intersection at the hospital just off of Genesee Avenue, where they practiced traffic control by setting up barricades and inspecting all vehicles that entered the hospital campus from approximately 8 to 9 a.m.

Local law enforcement agencies practiced protecting the hospital as one of the critical infrastructure assets to maintain operational during any disaster. The San Diego Fire Department also practiced “wash downs” of victims and first responders “contaminated” with bio-terrorism materials.

Scripps Health has a strong track record of planning for and responding to disasters, including Hurricane Katrina and the 2007 San Diego wildfires. Scripps also has an office of disaster preparedness that is staffed full time to develop disaster response strategies for its five hospital campuses and 10 Scripps Clinic locations.


Founded in 1924 by philanthropist Ellen Browning Scripps, Scripps Health is a $2 billion non-profit community health system based in San Diego, Calif. Scripps treats a half-million patients annually through the dedication of 2,600 affiliated physicians and 11,600 employees among its five acute-care hospital campuses, home health care services, and an ambulatory care network of clinics, physician offices and outpatient centers. More information can be found at