Health System to Test Partnership with Foster City Emergency Response Team
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For Immediate Release: March 12, 2012
Contact: Robyn Thaw, 650-573-3935

SAN MATEO, Calif. — As part of the San Mateo County Health System’s “Silver Dragon VI” emergency drill, Foster City’s Community Emergency Response Teams (CERT) along with other CERT Teams and the San Mateo Coastside Medical Reserve Corps (SMC MRC) will go door-to-door to areas throughout the County delivering earthquake preparedness information on March 15, 2012, from 9 a.m. until noon. Foster City Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) will be deployed to portions of Neighborhoods 7, 8 and 9 during this exercise.

The exercise will test the Health System’s ability to partner with local cities, law enforcement, fire departments, MRC, and CERT teams and to distribute large quantities of medicine and medical supplies from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).

CERT and SMC MRC volunteers will practice their readiness to provide emergency assistance, specifically in the event of a major health emergency such as Pandemic Influenza, a food or water-borne illness, or the intentional release of a bioagent. In order to test door-to-door distribution as realistically as possible, CERT and MRC teams will distribute earthquake safety brochures to simulate the medicine that could be delivered following a health-related emergency involving large segments of the population.

This exercise tests an innovative approach to successfully accomplishing the distribution of life-saving medical supplies to the public in a timely manner. The San Mateo County Health System shares the results of this event with other health agencies to expand the options available in the event of a health emergency.

This is the sixth year the San Mateo County Health System has organized this exercise. For Silver Dragon I, the team delivered brochures to 1,300 households in Foster City to gauge how long it would take to deliver medicine to a population of that size. For Silver Dragon II, III, and IV, the health department worked with CERT teams in multiple communities and the time was fixed at three hours, with teams being tasked with tracking the number of households reached in that time frame. Last year, for Silver Dragon V, the team tested how long it took to visit 15,000 homes countywide; and this year, the group will try to improve upon last year’s time.

In addition to testing the Health System’s ability to distribute medications, this exercise tests San Mateo County’s plans to receive SNS medicine and medical supplies quickly. The SNS would be deployed in the event of a public health emergency severe enough to cause local supplies to run out. Once Federal and local authorities agree that the SNS is needed, medicines can be delivered to any state in the U.S. within 12 hours. While waiting for the SNS shipment to arrive, San Mateo County is prepared to distribute medicine and supplies from its own pharmaceutical stockpile.

Media is welcome to observe the exercise. To learn more, contact Robyn Thaw at 650-573-3935.

Participating Agencies: Belmont, Cal Fire, Coastside CERT, Coastside Medical Reserve Corps, City of Brisbane, City of Foster City, Menlo College, Menlo Park Fire Protection District, Millbrae Fire Department, North County Fire Authority, Pacifica Police Department, Redwood City, San Carlos, San Mateo County Health System, San Mateo County Office of Emergency Services, San Mateo Fire Department, San Mateo Medical Center, South San Francisco Fire Department, SF Bay Area American Red Cross, Calif. Highway Patrol

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