April 6, 2022
MCHD, Mobile County EMA take part in exercise
MOBILE, Ala. — On March 24, employees from different departments at the Mobile County Health Department (MCHD) came together with the Mobile County Emergency Management Agency to prepare for an exercise dealing with the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS).
The SNS is part of the federal medical response infrastructure. It can supplement medical countermeasures needed by states, tribal nations, territories, and the largest metropolitan areas during public health emergencies.
The MCHD departments taking part included Emergency Preparedness, Vector Services, Disease Surveillance, and Control, Environmental Health, and COVID-19 Response Team. The employees were given a safety briefing on the MCHD West Mobile Warehouse, the exercise’s objectives, and a tour of the warehouse.
The actual exercise took place on March 29 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
The Alabama Department of Public Health gave each public health district permission to break into the SNS of personal protective equipment (PPE) that has been prepositioned because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The PPE available in the SNS located in Mobile included surgical masks, KN-95 masks, 3M respirators, hand sanitizer, face shields, two types of gowns, and cloth masks.
Some of these items had an expiration date in the next year. This is why permission was granted to use the supplies.
“We wanted to get them out as soon as possible, so they didn’t go to waste,” said Erin Coker, the Emergency Preparedness Administrator for MCHD.
An email was sent with the available items. And approximately 37 facilities took advantage of receiving free PPE. These different facilities included schools, Community Health Centers, hospitals, federal partners, Emergency Medical Services, local shelters, churches, and local home health agencies.
“All supplies that we had in stock were given away,” Ms. Coker said. “The total number of supplies given away was close to a million pieces.”
The following MCHD employees took place in the exercise: Tommy Busby (Vector), Brittany Edmondson (EP), Shannon Faye (Disease Surveillance and Control), Bryan Hill (COVID), JC Lahrs (COVID), Perry Randle-Suggs (COVID), Derrick Scott (Environmental Health), Katy Stembridge (EP), William Taylor (Vector Services), Latosia Turnbough (Healthcare Coalition), Henry Wright (Vector) and Ms. Coker.