On June 1 and 2, 2005 a citywide bioterrorism exercise PODEX 2005 was held. In this drill, city, state and federal agencies worked together to further develop an integrated response to a biological exposure.
In this imagined scenario, an exposure to a biological agent was postulated. In the exercise, the city responded together to offer prophylactic antibiotics. The City agencies partnered with State and Federal resources to provide needed protection to exposed city residents.
The strategic national stockpile (SNS) would provide medications if needed after a significant biological exposure. The task of delivering these needed resources to each agency and ensuring that each agency could distribute these medications was a key component of this exercise.
Commissioner Scoppetta met with the senior staff for a crisis management team meeting to review the department’s response in the event of a biological exposure. The meeting ensured that the FDNY management provided a well-orchestrated response to the biological event. Our goal remains to ensure that all members were protected while continuing our mission providing critical services of fire suppression and emergent medical care to our city. A modified IMT (incident management team) worked on operational response strategies
Department of Health and Mental Hygiene set up a mock POD (point of distribution) to provide medications to an exposed population in Queens. FDNY members served as “victims” to go through the pod and receive medications.
Bureau of Health Services received shipment of medications from the SNS. Staff from BHS placed this medication into 10 response vehicles. These vehicles headed to firehouses, EMS stations, Fort Totten and Randall’s Island. These sites would serve as mobile and stationary POD sites should a biological exposure occur. The sites chosen would be based on multiple factors, including the exposed population and required distribution pattern.
Podex 2005 was a biological exposure exercise designed to assist NYC remain prepared. FDNY along with other city, state and federal agencies was an active participant. Continuing to refine our response and further improve our response to potential threats helps us remain prepared for the unexpected. Further exercises will continue to develop our strengths.
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American Red Cross Grant For Medical Treatment Of WTC Exposed Rescue Workers
On Monday June 20th, a press conference was held at the headquarters of the Greater New York Chapter of the American Red Cross to announce grant money for WTC rescue workers. The Red Cross will provide 5 million dollars to the New York City Fire Department for medical treatment for FDNY rescue workers who worked at the WTC site.
This is part of a total 16 million dollars to FDNY and other grant recipients including Mt. Sinai, Bellevue Hospital, and Long Island Occupational and Environmental Health Center.
This money will be allocated over a two-year period to provide a network of resources for evaluation and treatment in areas where coverage is needed. Support staff will ensure that members (active and retired, Fire and EMS) are given needed referrals and follow-up after their WTC Medical Monitoring evaluation.
The Federally funded WTC Medical Monitoring program does not include treatment money. This grant from the Red Cross will help fill in the gaps where money for treatment is needed. For example, a retired firefighter, or EMT has had an abnormal CT scan of the lungs before retirement. Now a second or third follow up CT Scan must be done. How will it get paid for? With the Red Cross money, funding for these necessary tests will be done.
The Red Cross funding will provide an additional layer of support to our FDNY members. In conjunction with the Medical Monitoring grant, this grant will be a needed resource to provide needed follow up for our members.
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As summer approaches, with more individuals on the road driving, it’s a good time to review safe driving tips. OSHA statistics show that traffic crashes are the leading cause of on the job fatalities in America.
The use of seat belts saved nearly 12,000 lives in motor vehicles in the year 2001. Seat belt use at work and off the job saves lives and reduces injuries. Using seat belts cuts the risk of death by 45% for people riding in cars and by as much as 60% for those traveling in trucks or SUVs.
Motor vehicle crashes at work can be due to the actions of other motorists. Using your seat belt on each and every run saves lives.
Buckle up each and every time. Reinforce that rule at home and at work. Any trip, whether to the store with the kids or responding to a false alarm, odor of smoke, or a person in distress can potentially end in an accident.
AIR BAG SAFETY
The force of a deployed air bag can injure or kill a young child, even in a slow speed crash. Children 12 years and younger as well as infants should be placed in the back seat away from the airbag. The back seat remains the safest part of the vehicle in the event of a crash. (30 % reduction in the risk of fatal injury)
BOOSTER SEATS/INFANT SEATS/ CHILD SAFETY SEATS
Parents are accustomed to using infant seats for their newborn and toddler aged children. But new safety guidelines now call for the use of booster seats for older children (above 40 lbs). Children should continue to use the booster seat until the lap/shoulder belts in the car fit properly. (Typically when they are 4’9”)
The booster seat raises the child so that the lap and seat belt fit properly. For children ages 4 to 8, booster seats with safety belts save lives.
Alcohol related crashes continue to take lives. More than 2/3 of children, ages 14 and younger killed in alcohol related crashes were riding WITH the drinking driver. Drugs other than alcohol are involved in 18% of motor vehicle driven deaths.
Impaired driving will affect one in three Americans during their lifetime. Changing patterns of behavior can reduce incidents of accidents and injuries. Children both observe and imitate adult behavior. Enforcing driving safety starts at home and continues at work.
USE SEAT BELTS ALWAYS - AT WORK AND AT HOME
Use appropriate safety seats, infant, child and booster seats. Put kids in the back seat away from the airbag. Don’t drive impaired; don’t let others drive impaired.
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Upcoming Community Connections’ Events/Services
Couple’s Wellness Day at Snug Harbor on Staten Island
Date: Wednesday, July 13th, 4pm-7pm
Active FDNY Members, EMS personnel, and their spouses/partners are invited to participate in a free afternoon program at Snug Harbor to sample a variety of wellness services including acupuncture, massage, reflexology, and more. Additional workshops will be offered on the use of relaxation techniques and ways to reduce stress. RSVP by June 27th to Lynn Walker or Laura Garvey of Community Connections at the FDNY CSU: (212) 570-1693 ext. 380.
Family Fun and Wellness Picnic at Cantiague Park in Long Island
Sunday July 31st, 10am-4pm
Active FDNY members, bring your families to Cantiague Park in Hicksville, NY for a day of family activities: tennis and basketball clinics for kids 7+, mini-golf, and swimming. While kids are having fun, adults can relax and take a Tai Chi class, try acupressure, and socialize with other families. All attendees with receive raffles for chair massages. BBQ and activities are free. RSVP by July 10th to Lynn Walker or Laura Garvey of Community Connections at the FDNY CSU: (212) 570-1693 ext. 380.
Acupuncture is now being offered to all FDNY members, EMS personnel, and their families at no cost at the Manhattan, Middletown, Brentwood, and Staten Island FDNY-CSU locations and is coming soon to the Ft. Totten CSU site. Acupuncture has been shown to improve sleep, help with relaxation, reduce smoking, and more. To make an appointment or to find out more information, contact Wendy Henry, licensed acupuncturist of Community Connections at the FDNY CSU: (212) 570-1693 ext. 385.
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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