The State of Illinois began a Disaster Preparedness Exercise on June 14, 2016 to test the ability of the state to distribute antibiotics to most counties in Illinois. Washington County Health Department participated in the exercise to receive medications.
The shipment arrived on the morning of Tuesday, June 14. That evening, the health department staff coordinated volunteers from Washington County and also volunteers from Clinton County in dispensing medications to all first responders in Washington County at their regular Washington County Emergency Services Agency meeting held in Okawville.
Many agencies participated in the exercise. A Safety evaluation was provided by the County Highway Department engineer. Security was provided by the Washington County Sheriff and by the Okawville Police Department. The Washington County Hospital evaluated the event and provided assistance with medication dispensing. The Emergency Management Agency coordinator and assistant provided communication with the first responders prior to and during the event and completed a summary evaluation of the event. Volunteers from the Washington/Clinton County Medical Reserve Corps assisted with the dispensing of medications to the first responders.
Thirty-one families received medication packets for a total of 184 family members in 25 minutes.
On Wednesday, June 15, staff members from the Washington County Health Department assisted the Clinton County Health Department in their dispensing exercise.
These exercises are conducted on an annual basis to determine the amount of time it would take to provide medications to the population of Washington County in the case of a real emergency.
If you are interested in learning more about opportunities and training to volunteer for emergency or disaster situations, please call the Washington County Health Department at 618-327-3644 for more information.