Residents can help prepare their town for an emergency this summer, as the Trumbull, Stratford, and Monroe health departments are planning a mass vaccination drill. The departments are looking for about 100 community volunteers to play the role of patients who have been exposed to a communicable disease.
“The scenario is intended to test our readiness in the event of a mass exposure event,” said Trumbull Health Educator Sue Jacozzi. “It is also valuable training for our emergency community volunteers.”
The drill is scheduled for Tuesday, June 25. Jacozzi said it will run from 9 to 11 a.m., but volunteers can participate for as much or as little as their schedule allows. The goal is for a mock victim to be interviewed, triaged, vaccinated and discharged in about 20 minutes. The mock patients will receive information to relate to health officials, including how to answer questions about their exposure and symptoms. Volunteers will not actually receive any medication, the “vaccine” they receive will consist of an empty medication bottle with their mock information.
“If someone can come and do a 20-minute walkthrough that would be great, and if they can stay and go through the scenario a second time, that’s even better,” Jacozzi said.
Part of the drill, Jacozzi said, it measuring the ability of the emergency workers to administer large amounts of vaccine and to maintain a rapid pace while not missing anything that could potentially be dangerous. For example, Jacozzi said, they will measure how rapidly the workers can get 100 people through the scenario.
“We need to know of one aid station is enough, or if we should plan to have a second site open in the event of a mass exposure,” she said. “But if one of the mock patients has been told to complain of a symptom, we also need to know if our workers can accurately recognize the symptom, and determine that person should be separated in order not to spread the exposure inside the center.”
All volunteers are welcome, Jacozzi said, and high school students can use the drill toward their community service hours requirement. Registration is required. To register visit surveymonkey.com/r/KRL8MCS or call 203-452-1031 by June 20. For more information about the drill email firstname.lastname@example.org.