Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

May 4, 2013

Boyd health department ready for crisis

CANNONSBURG — The day may never come when all 48,000 people in Boyd County need medical attention at one time, but the county health department wants to be ready just in case.

About 35 Ashland-Boyd County Health Department staffers, from nurses to clerical staff to maintenance workers, spent Friday morning at the Kyova Mall practicing procedures for administering vaccines or other medications to large numbers of people.

They did so under the eyes of evaluators from the Kentucky Department of Public Health, which requires the exercise once every five years. The last time the local department practiced was in 2008.

Lessons learned in the full-scale exercise would be useful in a pandemic, following a bioterrorism attack, or in the aftermath of a flood or other natural disaster, said health department epidemiologist Kristy Bolen.

For instance, an anthrax attack would leave the department with about 48 hours to treat as many people as possible, she said.

The key to the exercise is routing people as efficiently as possible through treatment stations, using the same procedures as the drive-through flu vaccine clinics in 2008.

Workers set up multiple lanes in the mall’s rear parking lot with portable traffic cones to funnel cars to the stations.

Everyone helped with the grunt work, Bolen said. “You may be a nurse from nine to five Monday through Friday, but here you may be the person putting out the cones,” she said.

About half of the department’s staff have come on board since 2008 and were participating for the first time.

Among the lessons from the 2008 drive-through flu clinic was that people tend to show up hours before the treatment commences, which means health workers have to plan accordingly.

Also, based on that clinic, the department estimates it can treat about 700 people per hour, Bolen said.

The drive-through system has proven to be the most effective in maintaining order and public composure, Bolen said. People stay calmer and are more willing to wait in line in their own cars.

The Kyova lot is where the department would set up for an actual emergency event, Bolen said.

Following the exercise, workers huddled with evaluators to discuss the morning’s work and plan improvements.

MIKE JAMES can be reached at mjames@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2652.

1
Text Only
Local News
  • 0723bcfair0083.jpg Boyd County Fair in full swing

    Arriving at the Boyd County Fairgrounds last night, ears were filled with the sounds of children’s laughter, grown-up chatter and the screams of those individuals brave enough to partake of the weathered rides.

    July 22, 2014 4 Photos

  • Cans, trailer and moving dollies reported stolen to APD

    A thief targeted recyclables in a heist at the Pollard Place group home Friday.

    July 22, 2014

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison facilities.

    July 22, 2014

  • School discrimination suit settled

    A former Greenup County schools custodian has settled his federal racial discrimination suit against the school district, but the terms will not be made public.

    July 22, 2014

  • Family trip detour provides military thrill for 10-year-old

    Jeremy Crawford’s idea of a good time is a seat beside his papaw, watching their favorite World War II movies.

    July 22, 2014

  • Highlands marks year of progress

    This time last year, the Highlands Museum and Discovery Center was facing an eviction notice. Now, the museum is celebrating a year’s worth of progress where not only does it have ownership of its Winchester Avenue building, but is seeing an upswing in exhibition attendance.

    July 22, 2014

  • First lady recognizes Morehead

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching Trail Town certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014

  • Local in brief: 7/23/14

    The inaugual Ride for Autism will be Aug. 23, starting and ending at Callihan’s American Pub & Grill at the Kyova Mall, including a stop at Carter Caves State Resort Park.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0723trailtown.jpg First lady recognizes Morehead Trail Town status

    Kentucky first lady Jane Beshear said Morehead’s achievement in finally reaching “Trail Town” certification exemplifies the strength and dedication of the small town community during her address Tuesday at the Rowan County Arts Center.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • McConnell co-sponsors bill to protect correctional officers

    U.S. Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell co-sponsored legislation to help protect correctional officers and staff at Federal Bureau of Prison (BOP) facilities.

    July 22, 2014

Featured Ads
Seasonal Content
AP Video
Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament Bodies of Malaysia Jet Victims Leave Ukraine Disabled Veterans Memorial Nearing Completion Last Mass Lynching in U.S. Remains Unsolved Home-sharing Programs Help Seniors Ex-NYC Mayor: US Should Allow Flights to Israel Clinton: "AIDS-Free Generation Within Our Reach" Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP basketball
SEC Zone