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

• The Alamo, 19 W. Court Sq. in downtown Newnan, Friday, Aug. 1 will feature stand-up comedy to benefit the local Cole’s Commande ... Read More


Weekender

Charlie Daniels Band closes Southern Ground series

Finishing out the summer series at Southern Ground Amphitheater in Fayetteville on Aug. 9 is the Charlie Daniels Band. Effortlessly blending ... Read More


Weekender

Arrival to provide the music of Abba at The Fred

The Lexus of South Atlanta Summer Concert series continues at the Frederick Brown Jr. Amphitheater in Peachtree City on Saturday, Aug. 2 wit ... Read More


The Art of Cooking

Chef Carlin encourages fun while kids are learning

Kids of Coweta County got a treat Tuesday when Chef Carlin Breinig came to teach them how to cook in the “Art of Cooking,” compl ... Read More


A hope sanctuary

CTCA opens doors to support group lounge

From the outside, Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Southeastern in Newnan is ever-expanding, adding to its building that opened in 201 ... Read More

Healthy Living

Elliott retires after 55 years at Piedmont Newnan

Work is something people either like or do not like. After 55 years at Piedmont Newnan Hospital and the former Newnan Hospital, Virginia Ell ... Read More