A Not-So-Dry Run; Flu Shots Used to Test Ann Arbor Preparedness


 
 

| Friday, November 9, 2007


ANN ARBOR, Mich.-- Bonnie Neal rolled up her sleeve Wednesday morning, turned her head and waited. She wasn t afraid of what was coming, but she wasn t exactly thrilled, either.

Huron Valley Ambulance paramedic Margaret Shedlock swabbed Neal s arm with alcohol and found her mark with the business end of a flu shot.

Neal, a caseworker for the Washtenaw County Friend of the Court, said she never felt a thing. Still, she got a Scooby-Doo sticker for her 5-year-old daughter, who was considerably less sanguine during her shot last week.

Neal, who has had lung surgery, said she s all about prevention when it comes to the flu because, contrary to widespread belief, flu is a respiratory ailment - not just an especially unpleasant upset stomach.

On average nationally, 226,000 people are hospitalized every year because of the flu and 36,000 die -- mostly the elderly.

Flu shots were being offered in ambulances and the county decontamination tent Wednesday and today, as a test of the mass inoculation portion of the county s emergency preparedness plan. Today, the shots are being offered in HVA ambulances and a tent set up at St. Joseph Mercy Hospital s parking lot.

Cindra James, county public health preparedness coordinator, said the agency receives a grant each year for pandemic influenza planning. The county must take at least one additional step annually to prove it can inoculate the entire population.

Last year, the county held a standard flu clinic for all its employees. This year, the flu clinic for county employees and residents moved into a setting where mass vaccinations would actually occur: ambulances and the county s hazardous materials decontamination tent.

James said employees learned an unplanned but valuable lesson Tuesday during a dry run of the clinic. The support poles for the test were snapped by 40-mph winds, and the canvas was blown away.

By Wednesday, the winds had died down, and the tent was up at the clinic at the county s western service center on Zeeb Road near I-94. In addition, the Ann Arbor Police mobile command center was open at the site.

The clinic also was used to test how many people would download information sheets that all patients must fill out. The online version was offered to reduce check-in time. By lunchtime Wednesday, most patients had downloaded the form, and a few drive-up patients who spotted signs for the clinic pulled in.

The clinic is prepared for up to 600 patients over the two days, but additional doses of the vaccine are on hold, should they been needed, James said. No appointments are required.


Connect: Have a thought or feedback about this? Add your comment now
Related Topics: Industry News, Natural Disasters, Special Operations, WMD and Terrorism

What's Your Take? Comment Now ...

Featured Careers & Jobs in EMS

 

 

Get JEMS in Your Inbox

 

Fire EMS Blogs


Blogger Browser

Today's Featured Posts

 

EMS Airway Clinic

Innovation & Progress

Follow in the footsteps of these inspirational leaders of EMS.
More >

Multimedia Thumb

Abilene Loses Helicopter Service

Native Air leaves city with only one air helicopter service.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Fire Chief Proposes another Controversial Ambulance Plan

Staffing change will leave immediate neighborhood without fire apparatus.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

FDIC 2014 CHAT: MIKE MCEVOY AND A.J. HEIGHTMAN

Mike McEvoy and A.J. Heightman discuss some new EMS technology at FDIC 2014.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

D.C. Lieutenant in Patient Death May Go Unpunished

Family upset that officer in charge may retire without any discipline.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

LMA MAD Nasal™

Needle-free intranasal drug delivery.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Braun Ambulances' EZ Door Forward

Helps to create a safer ambulance module.
Watch It >


Multimedia Thumb

Field Bridge Xpress ePCR on iPad, Android, Kindle Fire

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


More Product Videos >