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Press Releases / 2006 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: NOVEMBer 8, 2006

***MEDIA ADVISORY***

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

BIOPOD exercise will test mobile and stationary deployment of vaccinations citywide

The Fire Department will hold its fourth annual FDNY BIOPOD exercise tomorrow evening. 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 2006 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.

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 III – held in November 2005 – utilized both stationary and mobile deployment modules that distributed the influenza vaccine to all on-duty members working the 6x9 tour for Fire and Tours 1 and 2 for EMS.

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:

Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta, Chief of Department Salvatore Cassano, Chief of Operations Patrick McNally; Chief Medical Officer Dr. Kerry Kelly; Deputy Chief Medical Officer Dr. Viola Ortiz; Deputy Assistant Chief Joseph Pfeifer; and other FDNY members participating in the BIOPOD exercise

WHAT:

Fourth Annual BIOPOD Exercise

WHERE:

FDNY Headquarters, 9 Metrotech Center, Downtown Brooklyn

WHEN:

Thursday, November 9, 2006
6:30 PM – B-Roll of Firefighters receiving vaccine
7:00 PM – Press Conference to answer questions, explain scenario

 

**Photo-Op

Press Contact: Francis X. Gribbon / Seth E. Andrews, FDNY (718) 999-2056

http://www.nyc.gov/fdny

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