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Another potential weapon to fight flu should a pandemic strike was unveiled Tuesday by the Fort Wayne-Allen County Department of Health.
The two clinically clean, handicap-accessible, 16-foot trailers – each equipped with a first aid kit, a refrigerator, easy-to-decontaminate black floors, surfaces and walls, and ample outlets – were purchased in December with homeland security grant money. Together they cost $57,300, including a tow package and special hitches for pick-up trucks.
The trailers could be used as a mobile command center or mobile health clinic, dispensing needed medicine or transporting critical supplies, in the event of bioterrorism, a flu pandemic, or another public health emergency.
“Not all public health emergencies take place at the City-County Building,” Kaylene Smith, the health department’s emergency preparedness officer, said referring to the need for mobile units.
Powered by a five-kilowatt propane generator (with a 12-volt battery backup) each climate-controlled unit could be saddled with enough medicine and supplies to treat a few hundred trauma victims, the health department said.
For quick loading and unloading, a wide side door and raised non-slip floor surface should come in handy. And each trailer is also equipped with fold-down counters, a rear fold-down ramp for handicap accessibility, a carbon monoxide detector and a portable toilet for field use.
“We wanted it to be flexible so we could use it for anything,” said Alan Scott, the county’s emergency preparedness coordinator.