Emergency Practice Drill Held in Fremont County

 Victoria Fregoso reports, vfregoso@k2tv.com

 Health officials and law enforcement in Fremont County gathered together today to prepare incase there is ever a county wide emergency.

 

 This isn't your average scene in the gym at Central Wyoming College. It was the site for a county wide emergency practice drill.

"The scenario is we've had an anthrax exposure in our community," said Teresa Nirider with Fremont County Public Health. "And so we've set up a point of dispensing site to receive medication."

With law enforcement on scene for crowd control and public health to operate the drill, volunteers are visiting a total of six stations to receive the medicine they would need if they were exposed to anthrax.

Nirider says if an outbreak like this did happen, Public Health estimates they would have to medicate about 14,000 people.

Besides police officers and staff with Fremont County Public Health, the Central Wyoming College Nursing Program has 25 students on hand. They're helping distribute drugs and answer any questions people may have.

"They are learning how public health nurses do take on a leadership roll to protect the health of a large community in an event such as this," said Kathy Wells, Director of the Nursing Program.

The goal is to get each person in and out of the building in ten minutes, and although an emergency like this has yet to happen in Fremont County, it is best for county officials to get the practice and see how a drill like this would play out.

"It helps us test ourselves in our communication process, in our alert and warning process, teaches us how we do things correctly, how we need to improve on things," Nirider said.

In real life, it would take seven days for the side effects of anthrax to take it's toll on a human, so this drill allows Public Health to fight the disease before symptoms show up.

"So if we can provide medication to people who have potentially been exposed, we can prevent them from becoming ill."