Monday, October 29, 2007

Fairfax County CERT at the Medical Reserve Corps dispensing exercise

Hi Folks!

On Saturday October 27th members of the Fairfax County CERT program helped with the Medical Reserve Corps dispensing exercise. This was held at George Mason University's Patriot Center. The Medical Reserve Corps is one of our sister Citizen Corps organizations; the MRC helps dispense medications when a health emergency is declared in the county. During a pandemic flu outbreak or bioterror event the MRC volunteers; in conjunction with the Fairfax County health department, will dispense needed medications to the residents of the county. You can get more information on the Fairfax County Medical Reserve Corps at
Saturday was the day for MRC's annual dispensing site drill, this year it was held under the framework of the Cities Readiness Initiative. The premise of the exercise was an airborne anthrax attack and our job was to utilize the "quick dispensing" method to get antibiotics out to the residents;well, um........, quickly. Under the quick dispense method needed antibiotics will be distributed to all 1.2 million Fairfax County residents within 48 to 72 hours of a health emergency declaration. People from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention observed the exercise as well.
CERT members helped with this exercise in different functions; I was there as part of the exercise management team, as a member of the transportation unit. (Basically I directed the volunteers to the proper parking lot and to the proper entrance for check in.). I wore my CERT vest; the traffic flow vests MRC issued didn't have enough "reflective stuff" on them. The CERT vests are very reflective when it's dark......Which was useful because it poured rain on me all morning.It was yucky the entire time I was outside at one of the parking lot's intersections ( from 6am to 10am). After that I helped in whatever role the MRC needed me in (I am a site assistant with MRC by the way). Patty from CERT 19 was there with her family as volunteer victims for the exercise, Debra was one of the incident commanders in the quick dispense center. One of our new CERT 29 class members was there as a victim volunteer,and I saw several other CERT's there as volunteers too. Thanks to those that came out!
We also had a CERT booth there, run by the "dynamic duo" of Jack and Susy; in a 2 1/2 hour timespan these folks had a fairly substantial list of people wanting to get more information on the CERT program. There were also booths put up by the county Office of Emergency management; the Red Cross, Volunteer Fairfax, the United Way and MRC itself. Jack and Susy always kept a crowd at the CERT booth; nice job folks!
All in all, it was a very good day. The "quick dispense" method of antibiotic administration is a relatively new method being being tried out (which is why the CDC was there to observe)and CERT members were there to help play a part in keeping our fellow citizens safe.

your volunteer PIO


  1. The M&M's used for med's were tasty too

  2. No wonder they kept me in the parking lot; there were M&M's close by.


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