COVID-19 underscored the importance of protecting frontline workers. Just prior to the emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, JSI worked with Massachusetts’ Metro Regional Preparedness Coalition and its member cities and towns within the 128 corridor to design and conduct a series of HSEEP-compliant tabletop exercises focusing on strengthening municipal plans to receive and store vaccine, and to administer vaccine to critical infrastructure staff including police, EMS, fire, and health care professionals. Using a pandemic influenza scenario that unfortunately foreshadowed the COVID-19 experience, JSI assisted the communities throughout the region to solidify Emergency Dispensing Site (EDS) /Points of Dispensing (POD) plans to notify staff critical infrastructure staff of vaccine availability, optimize vaccine administration locations and scheduling, and manage the cold chain.
Exercise participants included law enforcement, emergency management, fire services, emergency medical services, Medical Reserve Corps and public health, and exercise discussions resulted in cross-municipal learning and multiple identified plan improvements. Participants provided the following feedback:
“Good tabletop, well organized, well presented, good teamwork during the tabletop. Open conversations. We changed location for our EDS to improve flow and med storage.”
“I think today helped us to work collaborating with police/fire to come up with a solid plan.”
"Great training. Very helpful in getting to work through all of our plan.”
“Well done. Very informative to hear what other towns in the area are doing or planning.”
“Facilitators presented a realistic scenario and did a great job stimulating discussion. This greatly enhanced the learning process. Thanks!”