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

The Power of Community

14th annual cookout held in Grantville

Grantville showed the power of community recently with its 14th annual cookout. On Aug. 16, the Ladies and Gentlemen of Grantville, the host ... Read More


Stanley Tate on Birds

Fall migration has started

Late summer is a restless time for birds. As the days get shorter, they are beginning to eat with fervor, anticipating the task before them. ... Read More


Military Notes

Collins completes leader course at Ft. Knox Bradley Collins, an Army Reserve Officers' Training Corps (ROTC) cadet at New York University, B ... Read More


Focus on the Family with Jim Daly

Teen’s use of marijuana causes tension in family

(Editor’s note: This column originally was published in Aug. 2013.) Q: What can we do about our teen's use of marijuana? When we confr ... Read More


Weekender: See & Do

• Southern Ground Social Club, 18 Main St., Senoia, Fri., Aug. 29, features a southern belle singer-songwriter who performs soul in Dan ... Read More

Movie Review

‘The November Man’: Neeson’s safe, this is no ‘Taken'

Bang! You’re dead. Bang! You’re dead too. Bop! Another one knocked cold. Car chase. Bang! Bang! Bang! Another three dead. Foot c ... Read More