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[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

First responders first: A model for prophylaxing first responders during an epidemic

Kristine Qureshi, RN, DNSc1, Eileen Scanlon, BSN2, Robyn, M. Gershon, DrPH3, and Shelly Schechter, MPH2. (1) Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 722 West 168t Street, New York, NY 11530, 212 305 1186, kaq5@columbia.edu, (2) Nassau County Department of Health, 240 Old country Road room 607, Mineola, NY 11501, (3) Department of Sociomedical Sciences, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University, 600 West 168th Street, 4th Floor, New York, NY 10032

Program Development: The national plan for population-based emergency vaccination or prophylaxis in the event of a serious epidemic calls for protecting first responders (e.g., fire, police, EMS, public health, and hospital staff) and their families before the general public. The Nassau County Department of Health (NC-DOH) has developed a plan to operate first responder point of distribution clinics (FR-PODs) through the county's 71 local volunteer fire departments and the police department.

Implementation: The NC-DOH, in collaboration with the Nassau County Fire Department's Battalion Chiefs, developed a FR-POD plan. The FR-PODs will be staffed by a variety of volunteers from diverse backgrounds, including firefighters, EMTs, Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) members. This diverse group of volunteers received training on the incident command system, basic POD operations, the role of MRC and CERT volunteers imbedded in a FR-POD, and the role of public health in response to an epidemic.

Evaluation: At each training program, pre/post tests and a course evaluation were administered. The ability of the volunteers to operate the FR-PODs will be tested during a large scale, county-wide FR-POD drill, scheduled for June 2006. Approximately 25 fire houses, the police department, public health, EMS, and 12 hospitals are scheduled to participate. The Fire Department, MRC, and CERT volunteers will open and operate the FR-PODs. The results of the evaluation of the effectiveness of this approach for prophylaxing or vaccinating first responders and their families will be reported.

Learning Objectives: The learner will be able to

Keywords: Public Health Policy, Public Health Legislation

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Any relevant financial relationships? No

[ Recorded presentation ] Recorded presentation

Alliances, Partnerships, and Interorganizational Relationships for Health Improvement

The 134th Annual Meeting & Exposition (November 4-8, 2006) of APHA