Fort Wayne-Allen preparations for h5n1 bird flu
Posted: 29 March 2006 07:38 AM  
Total Posts  22
Joined  2006-01-05

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.