Christopher D. Rafano

FREEHOLDER CHRISTOPHER RAFANO & FREEHOLDER JOHN PULOMENA ANNOUNCE THAT MIDDLESEX COUNTY IS CONDUCTING BIO-TERRORISM EXERCISE

September 19, 2002


John Pulomena

Today, Freeholder Christopher D. Rafano, Chairperson of the Middlesex County Committee of Law and Public Safety, announced, "On September 28, 2002, from 1000 hrs. - 1400 hrs., the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management (OEM) in conjunction with the Middlesex County Public Health Department will be conducting a Functional, Bio-terrorism Exercise involving a simulated Bio-terrorist attack on the County." Freeholder John Pulomena, Chairperson of the Middlesex County Health and Education Committee explained, "This functional exercise has four main objectives:

  1. Test the ability of the Middlesex County OEM to coordinate/provide threat and hazard communication to the general public, elected officials, emergency responders and the public health community, regarding a developing and expanding public health emergency, related to the intentional use of a biological warfare agent.

  2. Test the ability of the Middlesex County Public Health Department and the County Office of Emergency Management to establish and support one mass vaccination site.

  3. Test the ability of the County Public Health System and the County Office of Emergency Management to coordinate the management of hospital resources, including patient distribution.

  4. Test the ability of the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management and the Middlesex County Department of Public Health to establish and support a unified command structure, in order to manage events associated with this exercise.

Functional exercises, such as this one, simulate emergency response to a scenario through radio traffic, written messages and the written accomplishment of various tasks."

Rafano added, "The results of this exercise will help the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management to refine the Bio-terrorism Annex of the County's Emergency Operations Plan. Although an actual act of Bio-terrorism would immediately become the jurisdiction of Federal authorities, significant Federal resources would likely not arrive for the first twelve (12) to twenty-four (24) hours after the incident has occurred. Therefore, local and county resources would be the initial responders. These resources would be coordinated through the Middlesex County Office of Emergency Management."