Pandemic exercise trains, provides flu vaccines

by Bradley Hartsell

alt

Coweta firefighters participate in the flu vaccine practice pod, organized by the District 4 Health Department. 


The Coweta County Health Department participated in a training event on Oct. 11 that provided flu vaccines to the region’s public service personnel at the Coweta County Fairgrounds. All 12 counties in District 4 Health Services were represented.

A series of tents in the parking lot — a pod — served as a drive-thru flu shot clinic. Personnel from the Coweta County Sheriff’s Office, the fire department, and the Water and Sewerage Authority participated in order to prepare the public services and public health in the case of a pandemic, as well as to provide local first responders with proper vaccinations.

Flu season started in October, and with the cold months approaching, Coweta’s Emergency Management director and coordinator of the pod, Jay Jones, said the county must be prepared in case of an emergency.

“If we had a true pandemic, this exercise is practice for the procedure of administering vaccines,” Jones said.

The tent workers were made up of nurses, administration staff and people from Coweta Health Department, with stations to issue paperwork, another to check paperwork, and the final station for administering the vaccine. The drive-thru process took between 5-7 minutes.

The vaccines were not open to the public and while activity at the stations wasn’t overly active, a steady stream of personnel continued rolling in throughout the day.

“We’ve had good participation, in terms of people coming through,” said Jones during the recent event.

Despite the downtime of the event, the coordination covered every detail in case of an emergency.

Randy Mercer ran the amateur radio emergency service, which communicates between counties and departments via HAM radios in the case of a loss or overload of communication services. For the vaccination pod, the radio emergency service ran mock communications in order to simulate the actual process of relaying information in case of an emergency.

Piedmont Newnan Hospital performed simulations to test its ability to handle a sudden surge of patients.

According to Jones, the Coweta Health Department has planned this event for six months. The pod ran for 12 hours, from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m., to accommodate as many personnel as possible. Hayla Folden, a risk communicator for District 4, was pleased with turnout and the efficiency everyone involved displayed. “It’s good practice for everyone,” she said.



More Close Up

Weekender: See & Do

Music: • Country rock: Kris Youmans Band will perform Saturday, April 25 at 9 p.m at Southern Ground Social Club (18 Main St. in Senoi ... Read More


'Daredevil' Review

Netflix adapts Marvel in gritty, violent fashion

The week before “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens in hopes of topping the $1.5 billion in worldwide box office of its 2012 predece ... Read More


Food & Dining

‘Taste and Tour’ to mix history with food

Downtown Newnan will offer a new event in May, hosted by the Coweta County Convention & Visitors Bureau (CVB). “Taste and Tour&rdq ... Read More


Taste of Newnan this evening

Following last week’s stormy weather, participants in tonight’s Taste of Newnan should enjoy clear skies. The biannual event of ... Read More


Relay for Life offers uplifting event in community

Relay for Life not only raises awareness with each event, but honors those who are currently battling cancer and remembers those who have lo ... Read More

Montpetit honored with DAISY Award

Linda Montpetit, RN, a case manager at Piedmont Newnan Hospital, has been named winner of the DAISY Award for Extraordinary Nurses. The reco ... Read More