This is a drill; this is only a drill!


County employees test emergency Strategic National Stockpile plan

SNS

County Councilman John McBlain, left, participates in a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) exercise at the Delaware County Government Center. He is shown with employee Brian Hudak, right, who checks the mock medical form to decide which antibiotics Councilman McBlain should receive in response to a fictional anthrax attack.




Employees at the Delaware County Courthouse and Government Center lined up and, in an orderly manner, recreated an emergency scenario that would require mass dispensing of medication to all county residents.

Note: this was a drill, only a drill. But regular drills and test scenarios are the best way for emergency officials to ensure their emergency plans are fine-tuned and ready.

Just after noon Wednesday, Aug. 3, county employees participated in an exercise to test Delaware County’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) emergency plan. A Point of Dispensing (POD) was set up in the public meeting room of the Government Center with fake pill bottles.

If the scenario was real, PODs would be set up throughout the county to give medication or vaccinations to all county residents who may have been exposed to a dangerous virus or toxin.

“It’s important that we regularly test these plans, and improve them so that we are always ready for a major public health emergency, whether it’s a natural disaster or a manmade threat like an industrial accident or a terrorist attack using chemicals,” said County Councilman John McBlain as he went through the line to get his fake medication.

The SNS is a federal emergency response program that provides medicine, medical supplies and medical equipment to an area in the event of a pandemic, natural disaster, terrorist attack of major chemical or industrial accident.

Wednesdays exercise is part of Delaware County’s ongoing efforts to strengthen the local response to a major public health crisis. The drill focused around a scenario that involved widespread exposure to aerosolized anthrax.

In this scenario Delaware County residents would need antibiotics immediately to counteract the anthrax. County government, in coordination with emergency officials, would then activate the SNS plan initiating the 16 open POD locations in 15 school districts, as well as closed PODs, such as hospitals, nursing homes, government entities and some large businesses.

The Government Center in this case would operate as a closed Point of Distribution (POD) for all county employees to ensure the continuity of government in an emergency.

During the Aug. 3 drill, 108 employees pose as people receiving medication in pill form for themselves and the members of their households. Other employees played the roles in medical screening, dispensing, security and crowd control.

“Delaware County is one of the only counties in the state to have drill exercises regularly and at this level of detail and participation,” said Robert Pisch, the Public Health Preparedness Coordinator for the Pennsylvania Bureau of Public Health Preparedness. 

For more information on Delaware County’s SNS Plan visit www.co.delaware.pa.us


Delaware County employees participate in SNS drill

SNS


County Councilman John McBlain, left, participates in a Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) exercise at the Delaware County Government Center. He is shown with employee Brian Hudak, right, who checks the mock medical form to decide which antibiotics Councilman McBlain should receive in response to a fictional anthrax attack.

 

SNS


Taylor Stefanide, right, simulates receipt of life-saving medication during a drill of the county’s Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) Plan August 3 at the Delaware County Government Center. Stefanide, an intern with the Criminal Investigation Division (CID), received her fake medication from employees Rick Megaro, deputy controller, and Laureen Hagan, chief clerk of the Election Bureau, who were manning the POD during the drill.