Agencies Need Volunteers to Conduct Public Health Mock Exercise
Blessing Hospital, Adams County Health Department, and the Adams County Emergency Management will be conducting a public health mock emergency exercise on July 5 & 6 and volunteers will be needed.
These agencies in cooperation with other emergency response organizations will test the community’s ability to respond to a public health crisis and practice delivering life- saving medications in the event of a disease outbreak or biological release.
The scenario will involve Blessing Hospital receiving a surge of simulated patients and then activating the county Emergency Operations Center to make a request for supplies from the Strategic National Stockpile. This event will trigger the activation of a public medication dispensing location and will test the coordination processes that are in place between health care providers, first responders, and local, state, and federal agencies.
“Disease outbreaks can happen anytime and anywhere, with Ebola last year, and now Zika on the global front it is important to constantly test our plans with our community partners” said Adams County Director of Clinical and Environmental Services, Shay Drummond. “We work daily with our local health care providers on investigating a variety of illnesses to prevent outbreaks”. “We want to engage the community to be a part of this process and invite them to participate in this exercise”.
In an effort to fully test the emergency response plan the public’s help is needed. A portion of the overall exercise is to test decision makers and evaluate the community’s readiness to stand up a medication dispensing location and measure the time and effectiveness of providing medications to thousands of the people. While no real medications will be given, participants from the public will go through the entire process from medical triage, registration, simulated medication dispensing, and a final evaluation.
“This is a learning opportunity for decision makers, responders, and the public. It is just as important that the public understands that the community is prepared to respond to a variety of incidents, but also get an inside look on what process would be required in a public health emergency” said Adams County Emergency Management Director John Simon.
The drill will take place in downtown Quincy from 10am until 2pm on July 6th and anyone from the public is encouraged to participate. It is estimated that about 1000 volunteers will be needed to fully test the capabilities. Drill planners estimate that the time required for each volunteer would be 30 to 45 minutes to complete the process. Since the drill spans several hours volunteers can arrive at a time of their choosing that fits their schedule. At the conclusion of the process, a small lunch will be provided for each participant.
Volunteers are being asked to register for the drill at www.co.adams.il.us so that the design team can monitor the number of participants and provide regular information updates and instructions. It only takes a few minutes to register.
For more information on the drill or to discuss large group participation contact Triena Dietrich at (217) 222-8440.