Emergency Preparedness and Response

972 words 4 pages
Emergency Preparedness and Response
Protecting the public’s health historically has been a state and local responsibility. However, the growing threat of bioterrorism has highlighted the importance of a strong public health infrastructure to the nation’s homeland security and has focused increased attention on the preparedness of the public health system (Frist, 2011). Since the 2001 anthrax attacks Congress has passed new legislation to increase the strength of the nation’s public health system thus the funding has also rapidly increased to meet the potential demand. There is an ongoing debate however, as to what level of contribution local, state, and federal agency’s feel is an appropriate level of ongoing public health investments.
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On May 22, 2012, employees and volunteers at the Quad-Cities Processing & Distribution Facility in Rock Island County, Illinois, participated in a full-scale bioterrorism exercise to prepare first responders for biological attacks. As with any post office, hundreds of thousands of letters are processed daily. The steps that Rock Island County took to insure the safety and well-being of not only the employees but also the greater public was to first get a head count off all the affected employees, then they put those individuals through decontamination then receive their antibiotics.
According to the article, firefighters with hoses then pretended to spray down volunteers, who took real showers in MABAS vehicles. Volunteers were checked for vital signs before boarding a bus and being taken to a medical area where they would receive their medications. In a real situation, the medications would be taken from the national stockpile. There is still room for improvement in my opinion; there are no clear defined responsibilities or roles for the employees. What is the chain of command, who will contact the Center for Disease Control, or verify contamination and treat those infected? While Illinois is prepared on basic level to treat a small-contained outbreak from an anthrax attack, they

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