On Wednesday, February 21, 2018, Alachua County Fire Rescue will take part in the first statewide exercise of the Florida Infectious Disease Transport Network (FIDTN). A “mock” patient with a highly infectious disease will be transported starting in South Florida and continuing the transport to Atlanta, Georgia. Alachua County Fire Rescue’s part of the exercise will take place at 3 p.m. at Fire Rescue Station 24 (3509 N.W. 143rd Street, Gainesville).
“The exercise gives Alachua County Fire Rescue’s Infectious Disease Transport Team an opportunity to test our plans and procedures and prepares us, if the need arises, to move a patient from a local facility to the Regional Treatment Center in Atlanta,” said Alachua County Fire Rescue Captain Joey Malphurs. “A few short years ago, the Ebola crisis killed more than 11,000 people worldwide and brought to everyone’s attention the real threat that high-consequence infectious diseases pose to the security of the nation. Alachua County Fire Rescue as part of a statewide plan is preparing for the next possible outbreak by training our local EMT’s and paramedics to move patients with contagious disease safely between facilities.”
The Florida Department of Health, in partnership with public health, private healthcare providers, hospitals, and emergency response teams such as Alachua County Fire Rescue, has developed the FIDTN. The purpose of the FIDTN is to send specially trained Emergency Medical Services units to conduct transport of highly infectious disease patients from a hospital to a local airport, a designated treatment hospital, or to the Regional Treatment Center in Atlanta, Georgia.
For more information, contact Joey Malphurs at 352-494-8478.