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This Is Just A Test!

By Jodie Mozdzer

May 05, 2009

Those are real medical gloves and that's a real pharmacist checking over emergency procedures. And this is really how the Connecticut Expo Center would be set up in the event of a public health emergency.

But everything else about this emergency drill, which city health officials practiced Monday and today, IS ONLY A TEST!

Any other week, the Cities Readiness Initiative emergency response drill might seem superfluous. But after copepod and swine flu scares these past couple weeks, city officials said the timing of this drill is "fortunate."

"If there is a fortunate part of it," said Carlos Rivera, the director of Hartford's Health and Human Services department, "this gives us the opportunity to test our systems."

That's Rivera, looking out over hundreds of tables that were set up at the Expo Center Monday. The city pretended to respond to a situation where anthrax was released into a crowd at a public event.

For the drill, the Expo Center was set up as a Point of Dispensing (POD) to give medication to healthy people who might need it. About 150 to 200 volunteers from the city, the Capitol Region Emergency Planning Committee and other regional response teams would feasibly staff the POD and help up to 250,000 healthy people get information and medicine.

Tuesday community leaders will visit the POD to receive tours and get information about what would happen if there really was an emergency.

Reprinted with permission of the CityLine blog of the Hartford Courant. To view other stories on this topic, search the CityLine at http://blogs.courant.com/cityline/ and the Hartford Courant Archives at http://www.courant.com/archives.
| Last update: September 25, 2012 |
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