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Press Releases / 2005 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: November 9, 2005

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

FDNY STAGES THIRD ANNUAL BIOPOD EXERCISE AS PART OF BIOTERRORISM PREPAREDNESS PLAN

BIOPOD exercise will test mobile and stationary deployment of vaccinations citywide

Tomorrow evening, the Fire Department will hold its third annual FDNY BIOPOD exercise. The exercise is specifically designed to test and evaluate the Department’s preparedness in providing and distributing preventive vaccination/medication in the event of a biological exposure. BIOPOD 2005 will simulate the release of a biological agent that can be easily passed from human to human.

This year, the Department will deploy four mobile PODs (points of distribution) and set up four stationary distribution points throughout the City’s five boroughs to administer the influenza vaccine to all on-duty members (Fire and EMS) working from 6:00 PM to 9:00 AM. Nearly 3,000 members will receive the vaccination. The exercise is part of the FDNY’s continuing initiative in planning its response to CBRNE (Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear, and Explosive) incidents.

Building on the successes of the past two years, tomorrow’s exercise is unique in that it incorporates both a mobile and stationary module. The exercise will be conducted by health professionals from the FDNY Bureau of Health Services in conjunction with the FDNY Bureau of Operations. The Department’s BIOPOD initiative is part of the City’s overall emergency response plan that combines the efforts of the Fire and Police Departments with the Office of Emergency Management, the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and other city agencies.

BIOPOD II – held in November 2004 – utilized a mobile deployment system to distribute simulated medication (candy) across the City in response to a mock anthrax exposure. This exercise was conducted in cooperation with the Department of Homeland Security and was used to help develop a national model for first responders dealing with bioterrorism.

BIOPOD I – held in October 2003 – was a stationary exercise that distributed the influenza vaccine to all on-duty members working in Staten Island from Sea View Hospital . This exercise was disrupted due to the Staten Island ferry crash.

WHO:

Chief of Operations Salvatore Cassano; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Kelly; Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. David Prezant; Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Pfeifer; FDNY members (firefighters, fire officers, EMS officers, EMTs and Paramedics) participating in the BIOPOD exercise

WHAT:

Third Annual BIOPOD Exercise

WHERE:

FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metrotech Center, Downtown Brooklyn

WHEN:

Thursday, November 10, 2005

TIME:

6:30 PM B-Roll of Firefighters receiving vaccine
7:00 PM Press Conference to answer questions, explain scenario
11:00 PM Opportunity for TV News to go LIVE from a firehouse in Manhattan going through the exercise.

ANY TV MEDIA INTERESTED IN GOING LIVE FOR THE 11:00 PM NEWS FROM THE FIREHOUSE MUST PRE-CONFIRM WITH VIRGINIA LAM IN THE FDNY PRESS OFFICE.

***PHOTO-OP***

Contact: Francis X. Gribbon and Virginia Lam (FDNY) (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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