Fargo Cass Public Health Conducts Training Exercise
The training covers the process people would through during a public health emergency
FARGO, N.D. — Fargo Cass Public Health hosted a training exercise at Fargo North High School to practice what would happen if a biological or chemical attack happened.
Fargo North’s gym was converted into a makeshift point-of-dispensing, or POD, so residents could go through a simulation of what would happen if there was a public health emergency.
“It’s a community point-of-dispensing situation. It’s for the general public to come in and to be evaluated,” said Dr. John Baird of Fargo Cass Public Health.
After residents went through triage, they went to the PODs where they received medication to help treat whatever health threat they were exposed to.
“People are aware we’re working towards being as efficient as possible and that we’re prepared in case anything does happen,” said Brenda Peterson of the Fargo Cass Regional Team.
The exercise was done as part of a grant through the Center for Disease Control.
During the 2009 H1N1 influenza pandemic, Fargo Cass administered real vaccinations at the event to fight the disease.
“We get information from the CDC and other locations on how they’re doing it. We use this in reality for the influenza outbreak, and make changes as we went along so make things flow better so that everyone understands what’s happening,” Baird said.
In the training scenario, people acted as if they were exposed to Anthrax, an infectious bacteria, and they received antibiotics as treatment.
“It’s just really nice to know that this would be available in case of an emergency situation to get medication. The steps went really quick, and I thought it was really easy to access my medication,” said Crystalynn Kuntz of Bismarck Public Health.
Participants say it’s good to know there’s a clear plan in place.
“It is comforting to see we’ve got a system in place where there’s observers, there’s security, there’s people wanting to be here to do this for the public,” said Robert Rumohr, a volunteer participant.
Multiple agencies partnered with Fargo Cass Public Health at the event, including law enforcement and first responders.