For Immediate Release
Contact: Phil Ulibarri
775.328.2414 or 775.772.1659
The Washoe County Health District and Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center will hold a special demonstration of Isolation Pod procedures as part of the distribution of over $115,000 worth of personal protective equipment (PPE) to local law enforcement, EMS transport agencies, and hospitals. The demonstration is scheduled from 9:30 – 11 a.m., Wednesday, September 21, at the Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center Emergency Room Receiving area located at 235 West 6th Street in Reno. The event will exhibit the use of the pod by EMS first responders and then how the pod and victim would be transitioned into the hospital emergency and isolation room setting. Both demonstrations and the distribution of PPE are being conducted in order to prepare our community for health-related emergencies and to protect responders from known and emerging infectious diseases and other health hazards.
At the event there will also be a display of the various types of PPE agencies will be receiving including: tychem coveralls, biohazard bags, boot covers, chem tape, N-95 masks, gowns, and face shields. Funding for the equipment distribution came from supplemental grants from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). Equipment recipients are the Reno Police Department, the Sparks Police Department, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office, the Washoe County School District Police, Gerlach Volunteer Fire Department, REMSA, Saint Mary’s Regional Medical Center, North Lake Tahoe Fire Protection District, and Renown Regional Medical Center. An opportunity for media to interview health district and hospital staff along with PPE recipients will be provided during the distribution ceremony following the demonstration. A reception sponsored by St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center will conclude the event.
“The ability to respond safely to any type of health emergency is a priority for the health district and our first responders,” said Washoe County District Health Officer, Kevin Dick. “Our community partners are receiving equipment recommended to protect them from disease based on CDC guidelines,” Dick said.
“We are pleased our facility is now equipped with additional solutions to protect both our staff and potential patients should an infectious disease incident occur,” said Helen Lidholm, CEO of Saint Mary’s. “Preparedness is a crucial necessity for first responders and emergency personnel and we are grateful to have these resources on hand for our community.”
Funding from supplemental Ebola grants was initially provided to increase the ability of local communities to respond to the Ebola Virus Disease (EVD). With the Ebola outbreaks in West Africa ending, the CDC and ASPR allowed the funds to be used more broadly to prepare communities to deal with emerging infectious diseases and novel pathogens. PPE for first responders is necessary to protect them while providing assistance to the community during public health emergencies involving infectious diseases.
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