Grundy County Drill Scenario Addresses Communicable Disease

The Grundy County Emergency Management drill scenario gave officials and volunteers a chance to role play what to do if the pneumonic plague were to be present in the area.

The scenario was this: a patient came to Morris Hospital with a list of symptoms - a cough, chest pain, a fever and difficulty breathing. After some research, hospital staff realized they were dealing with something more serious than phemonia. They had an outbreak of pneumonic plague.

With this as the background, the Grundy County Emergency Management and the Kendall County Emergency Management agencies got together for an emergency management drill on Tuesday in Morris.

Jayne Ballun, Kendall County Emergency Response Coordinator said the practice drill is a good idea to share between the two counties.

"We would have to help each other out in a real emergency," she said. "We learned a lot today; we moved ahead."

Grundy County has hosted emergency management drills for a number of years. In 2011, the scenario involved the release of anthrax.

In the drill, which was a dispensing exercise, officials had to get medication out to the public quicky. They also had to get out information, including instructions to residents. If residents were symptom-free, they were to head to the dispensing point, which in a real emergency would have occurred at the First Christian Church in Morris, where the drill took place. Those who were exhibiting symptoms would be instructed to head straight to the emergency room.

"In a real emergency, there would be hotlines set up," Donna Lee, Grundy County Emergency Response Coordinator said.

In addition, in a real emergency, the county agencies would update Web sites with instructions.


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