Stationary Bio Pod
December 16th, a stationary BioPod exercise was held in FDNY Headquarters.
In this drill, all the FDNY employees working at 9 and 11 Metro
Tech were directed to the Auditorium to participate in the mock
distribution of prophylactic medications (candy). This drill was
designed to complement the mobile drill that occurred in the field
on November 11, 2004.
In this exercise, all employees were registered, given education
regarding biological exposures, and were offered medications (candy).
The employees were directed down floor by floor using fire alarm
notification principles. The fire drill wardens for each floor instructed
employees to go to the lobby in a sector wide response. Communication
between the fire wardens and the participating fire marshals ensured
the smooth flow of participants through this exercise. Bureau of
Health Services officers, nursing staff, support staff and medical
officers ran the drill. Dave Mitchell and the Bureau of Technology
and Development Systems supplied computer support. Wireless scanners
were utilized to capture information electronically.
During the morning session, from 8 am to 12:30 p.m., over 600
employees were seen. In the morning, a ‘fast track matrix’
was utilized. This approach recognizes that the vast majority of
members will be candidates for Doxycycline. Therefore, at the conclusion
of the educational program, the instructor reviews the matrix of
questions that are relevant for the choice of medications. Those
participants without a history of allergy to tetracycline, and without
other medical problems or even questions were referred directly
to the medication distribution sign out desk. All other participants
were referred to the individual matrix desk to review questions
and other medical issues that would influence medication choice.
In the afternoon an additional 200 participants were seen. The
afternoon session utilized the structured program that was used
in the mobile program. The goals of the program were met. The entire
work force at Headquarters participated in this drill with few exceptions.
The exercise was conducted without disruption in work activities
at Headquarters. Both participants and staff became familiar with
the mechanics of a biological exposure drill. With each exercise,
there is an increased awareness on the part of the participants
and the staff continues to review their roles in remaining prepared.
We thank everyone for their participation in this exercise as we
continue to address our protocols for readiness and preparedness
if we were faced with an actual event.
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2004 Exit Survey Results
On November 11th 2004, BioPod 2004 was conducted. Ten (10) mobile
units were directed to the field for a simulated biological exposure
drill requiring the mass distribution of medications to on duty
At the conclusion of this 12-hour drill, over 2000 members had
received medications (candy). An exit survey was given to each participating
Fire Company and each EMS unit. Over 300 surveys were returned.
When asked, did you understand the purpose of the entire drill?
/ Did you feel that you were processed quickly and efficiently?
The results of the survey showed:
35.2% strongly agreed
1.1% strongly disagreed.
The individual comments were very encouraging. Members felt that
the exercise was worthwhile. They gave high marks to the participants
and to the format of the program. Members gave suggestions for improving
the program. Thanks again for the feedback and your active participation.
These drills help us remain prepared.
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TEN NEW YEARS' RESOLUTIONS
- Make this the year to stop smoking
- Wear protective eyewear when responding to incidents
such as car accidents
- Get a good night's sleep
- In icy conditions, watch for potholes when stepping out
of your fire truck or ambulance
- Look to change bad eating habits; add more fruits and
vegetables to your diet and that of your family
- Be mindful of hypothermia
- Spend quality time with your family members instead of
watching TV or using the computer; grab your kids for some
outdoor activities; Ice skating, bicycling, walk in the
park, snowball fights, sledding
- Wear you hood; make sure you wear all your PPE
- On CFRD/EMS runs, 'glove up'
- Look to decrease your alcohol consumption
If you try to incorporate any or all of these suggestions
into your private and professional life, you will see that
it will make you a happier, healthier and safer person - one
that enjoys life to the fullest !
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Dr. Kerry Kelly
Chief Medical Officer
Dr. David Prezant
Deputy Chief Medical Officer
Director, FDNY CSU
Mary T. McLaughlin
Director, FDNY BHS