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Examiner
  • City tests emergency procedures, and needs public's help

  • The city of Independence is looking for a little help with a health-related drill on Thursday. Prizes are involved.

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  • The city of Independence is looking for a little help with a health-related drill on Thursday. Prizes are involved.
    This week the Health Department is running exercises for distributing medicine to large numbers of people. The scenario is that someone has taken a highly dangerous substance – anthrax in this drill – and managed to spread it across the community in aerosol form. Among other things, the city would open up drive-through inoculation sites.
    “We’re testing our capacity to see how many people we can get through,” said Bridgette Casey of the Health Department.
    So on Thursday the department will be set up from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Fire Station No. 7. That’s at 2206 Hub Drive, between Sonic and Adventure Oasis off 23rd Street near Missouri 291.
    The first 100 people to drive through get stuff: There are the meds – actually Skittles and M&M’s – plus a small first-aid kit, a shaker flashlight and an emergency blanket, all the kind of gear people are advised to have handy around the house in case of emergency. Also, the first 100 get $10 gift cards for local restaurants.
    Casey said people should be in and out in 10 minutes.
    Emergency management officials run exercises like this periodically. They say the drills help them spot and fix shortcomings in their systems, and they say practice makes a big difference when a real emergency arises.
    “Independence does a really great job with their drive-thoughs,” said Rhonda Charboneau-Cooper, regional response planner in the Jackson County Health Department.
     
     

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