Event to Simulate Biological Terrorism Event in Region, Need for Medical Supplies
September 9, 2014
Contact: Doug Bolnick, Public Information Officer, (636) 949-7408
St. Charles County, Missouri – Natural disasters, disease outbreaks, accidents and terrorist events threaten our world every day. Should a devastating event requiring the distribution of life-saving medical resources occur in St. Charles County, the Department of Community Health and the Environment would activate its Emergency Response Plan in coordination with local, state and federal entities.
“While we hope that we’ll never have to implement this plan in a real situation, we regularly test our abilities in the event that we should,” Department Regional Response Planner Andrew Willman said. “Practicing at this exercise with our regional coalition and volunteer team will help our community become better prepared for whatever emergency we may face next. While the health department would direct the operation of the plan, successful implementation would require the cooperation and assistance of the entire community.”
To help test capabilities and practice roles within this plan, the department intends to simulate a response to a regional bioterrorism incident on Saturday, Oct. 11. To accommodate this, volunteer participants are requested to serve as patients needing medication at established Point of Dispensing (POD) sites at two locations in St. Charles County. Operating from 9 – 11 a.m., POD sites will open at St. Charles West High School (3601 Droste in St. Charles) and Holt High School (600 Campus Drive in Wentzville). As a thank you for assisting with this event, the first 250 registered participants will receive a voucher for a free chicken sandwich from Chick-Fil-A.
Volunteers (individual participants must be at least a high school student and able to provide your own transportation) wishing to serve as families seeking medication during this drill should register by selecting their desired location and visiting websites for the St. Charles West location or the Wentzville Holt location. Large groups interested in participating or those wishing to join the department’s Medical Reserve Corps volunteer team should call Andrew Willman at (636) 949-7554 before October 1.
Should such a public health emergency occur in real life, the department and operational partners would be responsible for distributing life-saving medical resources to the public within hours of the incident occurring. This response plan is established in accordance with the federally coordinated Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) program designed to deliver large and continuous quantities of medical material in times of need. The SNS program is prepared for immediate deployment of these products anywhere in the United States within a few hours of the declared emergency. Upon receiving these resources from state and national agencies, local health departments and emergency management agencies would enact their plans to distribute supplies directly to all residents and visitors in the community.
The St. Charles County Department of Community Health and the Environment is committed to the protection and enhancement of health and the quality of life for all members of our community. Through three divisions — Public Health, Environmental Health and Protection, and Humane Services — the department coordinates with federal, state, and local organizations to provide a wide range of services that have a profound impact on the lives of St. Charles County’s residents and visitors. To discover ways that the department assists this region or to learn about volunteer opportunities with any of the divisions, please visit http://health.sccmo.org/health or call (636) 949-7400.
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(Media interested in observing or reporting on this exercise is asked to visit the St. Charles West POD location and should coordinate this through the health department’s Public Information Officer Doug Bolnick by calling 636-949-7408.)