Health Department Announces Web Site for Recruiting Volunteers

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The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department has created a web site to assist prospective volunteers in signing up to assist in the event of a Bioterrorism (BT) emergency.

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Health Department Announces Web Site for Recruiting Volunteers For Immediate Release: Tuesday, March 18, 2003 For More Information, Contact: Brenda Ward (901) 544-7505 Memphis, TN. – The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department has created a web site to assist prospective volunteers in signing up to assist in the event of a Bioterrorism (BT) emergency. Individuals wishing to volunteer can now log on to www.shelbybtvolunteers.org, www.shelbybtvolunteers.com, or go through the Shelby County website at www.co.shelby.tn.us to complete an application online. Volunteers can still call 725-4687 and complete the application over the telephone, also. “If you have already volunteered, it is not necessary to re-apply,” according to Ruth Loncar, manager, Community Development. “This is just another approach we are offering so that volunteers don’t have to spend as much time trying to get through the phone lines to apply. It also offers residents the flexibility of applying to volunteer outside of normal business hours.” The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department has formulated a comprehensive plan that would enable the entire population of Memphis and Shelby County to be voluntarily immunized against smallpox in a ten-day period if necessary. In order to be able to conduct a massive vaccination plan the Health Department is currently recruiting volunteers. “The Memphis and Shelby County Health Department putting into place a system capable of delivering whatever vaccine or treatment is needed to all residents of this community in a matter of days,” said Yvonne S. Madlock, Director of the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department.” Ms. Madlock goes on to say, “This planning process will position us to make vaccinations available to the entire population over a 10-day period. To successfully accomplish that goal, we will need approximately 18 clinics community-wide, each serving 5,900 patients per day. More than 4,000 volunteers per day will be needed to staff these clinics.” This will not be possible without the joint efforts of multiple agencies and hundreds of citizens in our community. The Bioterrorism Preparedness Team (BT Team) of the Health Department will need volunteers with the following skills and/or credentials: o Physicians o Nurses o Clerical/Secretarial staff o Data Entry/ medical records personnel =more= Health Department Formulating Plan Tuesday, March 18, 2003 ADD 1 o Pharmacists/ Pharmacy Technicians o Individuals for traffic control and parking o Individuals for crowd control o Translators (multiple languages including sign language) o EMT skills o Information Technology o Mental Health Professionals o Clergy o Clinical professionals and/or students who are willing to be trained and assist with immunizations o And general volunteers to assist with directing patients, registration, filling out forms, answering phones, etc. Due to the extensive nature of this plan it is anticipated that the BT Team will be utilizing 10,000 volunteers during the course of 10 days. Although many Shelby County residents have responded to the need for volunteers over the past months, the need is still great for thousands more volunteers. All volunteers will receive a basic two (2) hour orientation and training. Clinical volunteers will receive additional training appropriate to their assigned task. The first series of training sessions will begin during the first week of April with additional sessions scheduled as needed. If you or your organization is interested in a presentation on Bioterrorism planning and preparedness, or would like more information regarding volunteering in the Memphis and Shelby County area, please contact the Community Development/ Health Planning Office of the Memphis and Shelby County Health Department at 901-725-4687 (8:00 a.m. — 4:30 p.m. Monday — Friday). -30- BIOTERRORISM PREPAREDNESS WEBSITES From CDC, there is a site for information on biological, chemical, and radiation exposure management: www.bt.cdc.gov From ASM there is a Compendium of Resources on bioterrorism: www.asmusa.org/pasrc/bioprep.htm Also from ASM there is a clinical site with specific protocols and links: www.asmusa.org/division/c/btnewslinks.htm From the Infectious Disease Society of America there is a new site: www.idsociety.org/BT/ToC.htm finally, from the AMA there is a disaster preparedness site: www.ama-assn.org/ama/pub/category/6206.html