Wednesday, December 14, 2005

Burlington, Ontario's Flu-Phix

The good folks of Burlington, Ontario, Canada have the right idea. They know that in the event of a pandemic they will be relying on each other to make it through. So they have scheduled "Operation Flu-Phix":
As part of Halton Region's commitment to influenza pandemic preparedness, Operation Flu-Phix -- a special "tabletop" exercise involving a host of local agencies -- will take place this Thursday (Dec. 15).

The event, held at the Oakville Conference Centre, is not a simulation -- like a train derailment scenario, for example -- but is instead an opportunity for all relevant stakeholders to communicate face-to-face, share ideas and identify gaps in planning for a pandemic.

"This will bring everyone together and make connections," said Halton Region Senior Policy Advisor, Emergency Planning, Kathryn Karz, who believes this type of exercise is the first of its kind in the province.

On hand will be more 170 people representing police, fire and paramedic personnel, plus both Halton school boards, long-term care facilities, daycares, the region's three hospitals, the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

The volunteer sector will also be represented, by the Red Cross and Victorian Order of Nurses to the Salvation Army and St. John Ambulance.

According to Karz, the protracted nature of a flu pandemic will pose so many challenges it's vital that all stakeholders are on the same page and learn from one another. (Burlington Post)
Indeed. This is something any community can (and should) do.

Kudos, Burlington.