ChesterCountyMedicine Spring 2018 - 19

www.CHESTERCMS.org

Overview: Chester County Strategic
National Stockpile Program
BY WILBUR E. WOLF, III

C

lose your eyes, pause for a few moments, and think about
the almost unimaginable! Anthrax, Smallpox, Plague,
Viral Hemorrhagic Fever like Ebola or Lassa, HxNx...
widespread exposure to a deadly toxin or a rapidly spreading
contagion! Like in some horror or Si-Fi movies...except it is
real! The deadly agent could be naturally occurring or it could
be intentionally spread by terrorists or others who want to cause
mass casualties and chaos. If it were to happen...would you
know where to go? Would you know what to do? Would you
know the best steps to take to save your own life and the lives of
your loved ones? Would you know what you could do to help
save lives in your community? Do you know what you can do
now to be prepared? Without rapid and effective emergency and
medical response any of these agents could result in a fatality rate
of more than 90% of the exposed population. The Emergency
Preparedness and Health organizations in Delaware and Chester
Counties of Pennsylvania have great programs to effectively and
efficiently respond. Read on to learn more.

the framework to rapidly distribute medical countermeasures,
medical equipment, and medical supplies from Federal sites that
are controlled by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
(CDC) to Commonwealth Controlled sites knowns as Receipt,
Store, and Stage (RSS) Sites and then onward into the counties
for dispensing of medications and use of other medical equipment
and supplies. The whole process of distribution and dispensing
to as much as 100% of the population needs to occur in as little
as 48 hours. And, if we need to do it for real, we only get one
chance to get it right. If we do it right we are likely to save the
lives of more than 90% of those exposed. If we don't get it
right it would likely be a nearly unimaginable mass fatality;
potentially hundreds of thousands or even millions of our fellow
citizens dead.

Fortunately, the probability of such an event happening is very
low. But, the risk is not zero! For more than 10 years the teams
in Delaware County and Chester County have been planning,
educating, training, and exercising to prepare for just such an
occurrence. Commonly known as the Strategic National Stockpile
(SNS) or Medical Countermeasures (MCM) program, we may
also use the term Mass Distribution and Dispensing of Medical
Countermeasures (MDMC). Either way, the program provides

Open Points of Dispensing (PODs) - Open PODs are
locations where the general public would be directed to go in
the event of an emergency to receive medication for themselves
and their families. In Chester and Delaware Counties, all of the
pre-planned Open PODs are currently at larger public schools.
Although there are many pre-planned Open POD locations in
each county, the number and location of the PODs that would
be activated could vary based upon the scenario. All pre-planned

The SNS/MCM programs in both counties are built around
several key operational elements that are described below.

continued on next page >

SPRING 2018 | CHESTER COUNT Y Medicine 19


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