5/12/2009 12:00 AM
TEEX's National Emergency Response and Rescue Training Center (NERRTC) prepares officials and emergency managers for the "worst-case scenario," and for several years, has been working to prepare Texas and the nation for a possible pandemic influenza outbreak.
Long before the current H1N1 flu or "swine flu" outbreak made the news, NERRTC was offering pandemic influenza planning assistance, mass prophylaxis training and pandemic flu exercises across Texas and the nation.
NERRTC has conducted 15 pandemic flu exercises in Texas, Oklahoma, Maryland, Arizona and for FEMA Region VII. The Region VII exercise included four states - Kansas, Missouri, Iowa and Nebraska - along with Kansas City and St Louis.
NERRTC's mass prophylaxis preparedness training originally started with a grant in 2004 from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and now the course is fully funded by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The centerpiece of this training is a course called Bioterrorism: Mass Prophyolaxis Preparedness & Planning, which is offered nationwide.
This course is a guide for local health officials and their partners in the local public health system to coordinate plans to provide mass distribution of pharmaceuticals for the jurisdiction as they relate to the Division of Strategic National Stockpile (DSNS) program.