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Niagara County Needs Community Members to Participate in Emergency Drill at Gratwick Hose

Author: Jacquelyn Langdon/Wednesday, April 25, 2018/Categories: Health, Health Events

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The Niagara County Department of Health needs 800 individuals to participate in a two-hour drill on Thursday, April 26 at the Gratwick Hose Fire located at 110 Ward Road, North Tonawanda, from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. The drill will test emergency dispensing of vaccinations to the community using a Hepatitis A scenario.

Niagara County is seeking public involvement of people of all ages, to include those who have access or functional needs, and have 10 to 15 minutes to spare.  People can show up at Gratwick Hose Fire between 10:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. or pre-register for a specific time slot by visiting .  Each drill participant will go through the point of dispensing (POD) and meet professionals from the health department as well as medical and nonmedical volunteers from the Niagara County Medical Reserve Corps.  Medical professionals will determine if the participant will receive simulated vaccination.  “Simulating vaccination and timing how long it takes to go through the POD is important as we are testing our ability to quickly, efficiently and accurately dispense medication or vaccination to the entire population within 48 hours,” stated Elise Pignatora, Director of Public Health Planning and Emergency Preparedness.

Homeland Security and Exercise Evaluation trained staff will be present to observe and evaluate the performance and completion of all drill elements.  Following their assessment of the drill, a report will be created to measure Niagara County capability public health emergency preparedness levels.  “It is important to test capabilities to assure the health security of our communities in the most expeditious means possible during disasters and infectious disease events before they actually happen,” stated Public Health Director, Daniel Stapleton. “These exercises require meticulous and comprehensive planning and coordination, as well as the participation and expertise of many different agencies and partners that serve the health and safety needs of our population,” added Mr. Stapleton.  Other partners in this endeavor include The Niagara County Office for the Aging, Opportunities Unlimited, Niagara County Department of Emergency Services, Niagara County Sheriff’s Office, Eastern Niagara Hospital of Lockport, Niagara University, Niagara County Department of Information Technology, Gratwick Hose Fire, Centers for Disease Control and the New York State Department of Health.

The Niagara County Department of Health shares a signed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Gratwick Hose Fire to serve as a designated site for mass dispensing emergency medications/vaccinations from Federal Strategic National Stockpile.  Gratwick Hose Fire is one of 37 federally recognized POD sites located throughout Niagara County.  As a Cities Readiness Initiative (CRI) County, each year the Niagara County Department of Health conducts drills at one or more of these sites.

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