August 4, 2006
MECKLENBURG COUNTY PHRST TEAM 7 HOSTS STATEWIDE RAPID RESPONSE "FIELD DAYS"EXERCISE
Charlotte, NC – The Mecklenburg County Health Department and the local Public Health Regional Surveillance Team 7 will host more than one hundred participants in a two-day rapid response preparedness exercise August 8 and 9 at Freedom Park.
All 7 PHRST Teams, preparedness coordinators, and other staff from local health departments and county agencies from across North Carolina will be in Charlotte to participate in the event which is designed to evaluate and practice applications using GIS/GPS technology during a large, naturally occurring disease outbreak.
The "Field Days" exercise is the culmination of a special project of the North Carolina Office of Public Health Preparedness to enhance the capacity of public health agencies in NC to rapidly respond to disease outbreaks, natural disasters and other public health emergencies.
The exercise scenario depicts an event that is of the magnitude to provide team members the opportunity to exercise GIS Field Data Collection applications, GPS capabilities, and utilization of hand-held technology for management of a vaccination clinic. It will also offer a hands-on training environment as participants use the technology to help identify the source of the outbreak, how many area residents have been affected and how best to deal with such a scenario.
Media interested in covering this event will have two opportunities for pictures and sound. They are as follows:
· Tuesday, August 8, 3-4p.m.
· Wednesday, August 9, 9:30a.m.-Noon
All media should use the East Boulevard entrance to Freedom Park, park near the train and report to Shelter # 2 for credentials and interviews.
Mecklenburg County's Medical Online Surveillance Tool (MOST) will be referenced as a source of early recognition of the outbreak. MOST is an exclusive tool used by the County for monitoring selected diseases in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg area. This Rapid Response Project is intended to integrate Global Information Systems (GIS), Global Positioning Systems (GPS), and electronic field data collection into public health preparation and response at the state, regional and local levels in North Carolina.