Friday, September 21, 2007

Local Health Department Emergency Ready

Dr. Fernandez Applauds Local Health Professionals

LABELLE, Fl. -- Hendry and Glades County Health Department Director Neftali Fernandez, M.D., applauded the County Health Department staff for assisting with the public health preparedness efforts made during this year in order to protect all local residents in Hendry and Glades Counties against disasters. 

Every staff member of the Hendry and Glades Counties Health Departments receives training in preparedness functions, including National Incident Management System, Incident Command System courses 100, and 700. Thanks to John Gountas, Disaster Planning Consultant with the Hendry CHD all employees receive this training.

"I am most proud of our staff and leadership who understand our roles during emergencies of all types and have a strong desire to keep abreast of changes in the Public Health Preparedness arena," said Dr. Fernandez. 
Every day public health professionals answer the call to help our communities prepare for and respond to an increasing number of threats to our health, both large and small. A recent national report showed that over 90% of local health departments have instituted comprehensive emergency response plans, compared to just 20% six years ago.

Recent Training Sessions:
  • Participation in the SKYWARN training designed for a partnership between the National Weather Service and the Hendry and Glades Counties in order to help reduce the threat from severe weather with the assistance of volunteer "storm spotters" who relay reports of severe weather to the National Weather Service. 
  • Participation in the Preliminary Damage Assessment training which provided a basic format for conducting such assessments and the necessary information to be able to participate in Housing and Business Preliminary Damage Assessment operations.
  • Participation to the Hendry County Emergency services Council.
  • Participation in the Catastrophic Incident Planning County Workshops for the creation and addition of such an Annex to the Comprehensive Emergency Management Plans for the Counties of Hendry and Glades.
  • The establishment of a new Special Needs Shelter location at West Glades Elementary School, 2500 S County Rd 731 SW with a Planning Capacity of 75 potential clients.  Special Needs Shelters are defined as structures that have auxiliary power and are capable of providing safe refuge for people who require assistance with the management of a health condition or supervision of that condition by a health professional during the time of a disaster.
  • The Hendry/Glades County Health Department, Hendry Regional Medical Center, Hendry County Office of Emergency Management, Glades County Office of Emergency Management, Emergency Response Educators and Consultants, Inc., and several other key community partners from the Hendry and Glades Counties participation in a Pandemic Influenza Functional Exercise with a local Point of Dispensing (POD) activation on Monday, June 11, 2007.

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