Bioterror Medicine: County Hones Response to Simulated Attack - @ JEMS.com


Bioterror Medicine: County Hones Response to Simulated Attack


 
 

Diane C. Walsh | | Wednesday, October 24, 2007


NEWARK, N.J.-- Middlesex County (N.J.) Public Health Department officials are big believers in being prepared.

Two years ago the department took part in a massive anti-terrorism drill, dubbed Top Off. In 2006, the department teamed up with the U.S. Postal Service to test its response to a simulated anthrax attack.

The latest exercise was staged early yesterday in New Brunswick and South Plainfield for first responders -- the police, fire, health and emergency service personnel who would be the first on scene in the event of a natural disaster or terrorist attack.

The drill tested the county s plans for the bulk distribution of medication to thousands of first responders. Under yesterday s scenario, terrorists unleashed anthrax in the area and antibiotics had to be dispensed to 6,000 first responders and their families, said David Papi, the county public health director.

Papi said the county administration building and a site in South Plainfield served as the bulk distribution points. He said his department had previously surveyed the county s 25 towns and determined 23,000 doses were necessary to safeguard all the first responders and their households.

This program protects them so they can protect all of us, said Freeholder Christopher Rafano.

Freeholder John Pulomena, who oversees the health department, said the drill capped months of preparation and planning by county and local officials.

This protection will afford us the opportunity to continue to deliver the needed emergency services to our residents, Pulomena said. We ve learned the importance of being prepared.

While empty boxes of medication were handed out during the drill, Papi explained that if a natural disaster or terrorist attack occurred, first responders would be allowed to dispense drugs in their own households to keep them safe and ready to help the public. During the drill, the county also simulated distribution of single doses of medication to health personnel working at the county administration building and at the public health clinics in New Brunswick.

What we learned today will be put to the test again, Freeholder Director David Crabiel said. We will strive to continue to refine and test our plans so that we can be better prepared for tomorrow.

Diane C. Walsh may be reached at dwalsh@starledger.com or (732) 404-8087.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Provider Wellness and Safety, Medical Emergencies, Natural Disasters, WMD and Terrorism, Training

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Buyer's Guide Featured Companies

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Improving Survival from Cardiac Arrest Using ACD-CPR + ITD

Using active compression-decompression CPR with an ITD has been shown to improve 1-year survival from cardiac arrest by 33%.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Philadelphia Fire Department Apologizes for Medic’s Jab at Police

Union head calls photos a slap in the face of officers.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire and EMS Crews Blame New Technology for Patient’s Death

Delayed response blamed on recurring dispatch problems.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Suspect Steals, Crashes Maryland Ambulance

One killed, others injured in Prince George’s County crash.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Truck Strikes Pedestrians in Scotland

Six killed in downtown Glasgow.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Tennessee Trench Rescue

Worker pulled from Roane County worksite.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Time’s Ebola Firefighters

Doctors, nurses and others saluted for fighting virus.
More >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

Sneak peek of customizable run forms & more.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

VividTrac offered by Vivid Medical - EMS Today 2013

VividTrac, affordable high performance video intubation device.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


More Product Videos >