Volunteers needed for East Providence EMA program

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EAST PROVIDENCE  — The City of East Providence has an ongoing program with the Rhode Island Department of Health to plan for large-scale public health emergencies. In the event of such an emergency, points-of-dispensing (PODs) will be established to provide medications or vaccinations to the public quickly to prevent illness or death.

A MEDS plan was exercised at the H1N1 flu clinic in 2010, and also at seasonal flu clinics run by the City. H1N1 was relatively small in the scale of possibilities; in the event of a true large scale medical emergency, dozens of staffers would be needed to ensure safe and efficient medical dispensing to our residents.

As part of its preparedness program, East Providence Emergency Management and the RI Department of Health will offer a MEDS overview event for City residents who may be interested in volunteering to staff a medical point-of-dispensing location in the City.

Participants will learn the purpose and functions of a POD and issues related to mass antibiotic dispensing, and how they can assist their City in this important initiative. This event, which should take no more than an hour, will be offered on Thursday, Nov. 14, at 6 p.m. in the Program Room at the Weaver Library, 41 Grove Ave.  For more information, call the Planning Department-Emergency Management office number at 435-7531, extension 11151.

The East Providence Emergency Management Agency (EMA), housed within the City’s Planning Department, plans and prepares for natural and manmade disasters. The agency educates the public, coordinates evacuations and the opening of shelters, and provides meteorological support for the City. City EMA works closely with other local, state and federal agencies including the RI Department of Health, RI Emergency Management Agency, and FEMA on actual emergencies and planning initiatives.

The East Providence Emergency Management webpage can be found on the City’s website, http://www.eastprovidenceri.net/ , under “City Departments online.  Facebook users can find updates on the “East Providence Emergency Management Agency” Facebook Page.

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