On November 18, 2008 in the Greek Cultural Center, the Springfield Department of Health and Human Services with their partners participated in a simulated exercise to test opening an Emergency Dispensing Site, activating our Medical Reserve Corp, dispensing medication (flu vaccine) and communication call-down, volunteer orientation.
An Emergency Dispensing Site is a secure location operated by a local public health agency that is open to everyone who lives or works in that community to receive appropriate vaccination/prophylaxis in a public health Mass casualty event.
During the exercise they practiced using the Incident Command Structure. The Incident Command gives us a common organizational structure used in disaster by public safety agencies (Fire, Police, EMS). It allows people from many different background and agencies to work together and speak a common language.
Participating agencies and organizations include, local emergency Management Director, Fire, Police, Schools, American Red Cross, Springfield Technical Community College, Mercy Medical Center, and the Medical Reserve Corps.
Also, participating in the exercise is representation of the Massachusetts Department of Public Health and CDC. “This exercise demonstrates the importance of emergency preparedness partnerships and the need to exercise your plan”, said Helen R. Caulton-Harris, Director of Health and Human Services”. “We are excited to have the opportunity to participate with our partners to increase our readiness and proficiency to ensure a better prepared Springfield”.