2/26/15: March Madness Drill Seeks Volunteers for Public Health Exercise

Modified: March 2, 2015 12:17pm

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EC Department of Health Calls for Participants in Educational POD Exercise at ECC North 

Exercise Helps Strengthen, Coordinate Community Response in Event of Public Health Emergency

March Madness flier

ERIE COUNTY, NY— The Erie County Department of Health (“ECDOH”) Office of Public Health Emergency Preparedness is sending out a call for volunteers to take part in a Point of Dispensing (“POD”) exercise at Erie Community College (“ECC”) North Campus on Friday, March 13, 2015 from 12:30 – 3 PM. The exercise is a precursor to a larger, statewide exercise planned for 2016 and provides an opportunity to practice mass distributions of medications required during a public health emergency. The exercise is also intended to familiarize the public, as well as Erie County employees and planning partners, with a POD and its functions. Among other goals, POD exercise requirements call for the dispensation of medications to 2,000 people per hour over a sustained 2-hour time period.

“Erie County’s Public Health Emergency Preparedness scores have been going up for the past three years, and exercises such as this one provide a good opportunity for residents to be a part of community wide preparations in case of an emergency and keep our readiness at a high level,” said Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz. “As we’ve seen in the past, we are the ‘County of Good Neighbors’ when emergencies strike or disasters happen. Taking part in readiness exercises adds to our community’s resilience and builds a more cohesive, communicable and cooperative response should an emergency occur. I urge residents to be a part of this POD exercise and help build a better-prepared Erie County.”

Erie County Health Commissioner Dr. Gale Burstein added, “An emergency could strike at any time, and this POD exercise gives residents the opportunity to familiarize themselves with what might be required in case of a large-scale public health event. Every second counts in a public health emergency, so preparation and planning are vitally important in order to be ready should something happen. For their own protection as well as that of their families and their communities, every resident should be aware of what they need to do, and plan to take part in this POD exercise if possible.”

Volunteers are needed to fill to fill a variety of roles at the POD exercise. In addition to taking part in the exercise, attendees will be able to dispose of unused or unwanted prescription drugs and needles, obtain public health information and educational materials, and enter free raffles for door prizes. The event is free and open to the public, with pre-registration encouraged.


For more information and to pre-register, visit: