Brett Larson Staff Writer
The Mille Lacs Band is well prepared for a wide variety of emergencies that could take place, from bad weather to disease outbreaks, thanks in large part to the Tribal Emergency Response Committee, or TERC.
The TERC’s latest training took place on April 27, when many staff members from Health and Human Services took part in a Health Services Point of Dispensing (POD) Seminar.
The seminar was introduced by Emergency Management Coordinator Monte Fronk and was led by Kate Mestnik from Kanabec County Public Health.
Kate has been working with HHS to develop a plan for dispensing medication in the event of a disease or infection out- break in reservation communities. She has received feedback from HHS personnel and helped to develop a plan of action for distributing antibiotics or other medications or vaccinations.
The goal of the seminar was “To provide Health Services Staff with an understanding of Mass Dispensing Site (MDS) Plan Activation Triggers, Job Action Sheet (JAS) duties, and propose where POD stations are to operate within the clinic.”
Staff learned about “activation triggers” that initiate the MDS plan and how JAS are used to guide staff in accomplish- ing duties at POD stations. They also evaluated the proposed POD setup options within the clinics in all three districts.
Staff were given Job Action Sheets with specific duties related to various roles, including Site Manager, Security, Licensed Practitioner Consultant and Maintenance/Environmental Services, as well as Site Leaders, Managers and other workers.
Kate also talked about site setup, patient ow, patient triage, screening, crowd control, staffing and communications protocols during a POD activation.
Monte said the training is all about ensuring Band member safety and health in the event of an emergency. “We want Band members to know we are doing all we can to prepare for the worst,” said Monte.