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Medical Reserve Corps of Dutchess County Holds Successful Pandemic Flu Exercise
Drill highlighted National Preparedness Month, flu prevention

Published: 9/29/2017

For More Information Contact:

Colleen Pillus
(845) 486-2000

Poughkeepsie… As part of Dutchess County’s continued efforts during National Preparedness Month, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) of Dutchess County administered 34 influenza vaccinations Thursday evening at a point of distribution (POD) drill exercise.

During a “pandemic flu” scenario, MRC volunteers – both medical and non-medical staff – were activated to triage, vaccinate and educate volunteers through the exercise, held at the Department of Behavioral & Community Health (DBCH) Training Room, 230 North Road in Poughkeepsie.

“Our MRC volunteers are a great asset to the County by providing medical and non-medical assistance during times of need, and we thank them for making this drill a success,” DBCH Commissioner A. K. Vaidian, MD, MPH said. “This exercise helped our department in our preparedness mission and strengthened our readiness to serve our community. By participating in this drill, we were able to test our volunteer capacity and identify areas of strength and areas where we need additional training.”

Thursday’s POD drill exercise was one of several activities held as part of National Preparedness Month. In recent weeks, DBCH staff, in conjunction with the Dutchess County Department of Emergency Response, held two Citizen’s Preparedness Training sessions – the first on Sept. 19th in Poughkeepsie, the second Sept. 26th in the Town of Dover.

Additional Citizen’s Preparedness Trainings will take place on October 12th at Wappingers Junior High School, 30 Major Macdonald Way in Wappingers Falls, and October 26th at Stanford Town Hall, 26 Town Hall Road in Stanfordville. Both events take place from 7 to 9 p.m., with doors opening at 6:30 p.m. For more information about either training, residents can email

“The safety of Dutchess County residents is our top priority, and Citizen’s Preparedness Training teaches residents practical ways they can safeguard themselves in the event of an emergency,” Dr. Vaidian said. “The better prepared residents are, the more likely they are to withstand an emergency. We encourage all residents to attend a Citizen’s Preparedness Training session to learn the best way to protect themselves and their loved ones from the unforeseen.”

This exercise also stressed the importance of flu vaccinations. With the start of the flu season, residents are encouraged to get vaccinated to protect themselves from getting the virus and spreading it to others. To prevent transmission of illness to those who cannot be vaccinated, vaccination is recommended for close contacts, such as caregivers and family members, of infants less than six months of age.

Flu vaccines are available locally at doctor’s offices, pharmacies, retail stores and at the Dutchess County Department of Behavioral & Community Health’s Adult Clinic on Mondays by appointment at (845) 486-3535 or

“This is the perfect time to prepare for flu season by ensuring you and your loved ones are protected from the virus,” Dr. Vaidian said. “Everyone six months of age and older should be vaccinated against the flu, particularly those who are at higher risk for complications or women who are pregnant.”

Dutchess County’s MRC is part of a national network of more than 200,000 volunteers dedicated to supporting public health infrastructure, as well as disaster preparedness and response in the community.

Residents are invited to join the MRC of Dutchess County and become part of a prepared response effort, helping those in need, quickly and effectively; both medical professionals and non-medical volunteers are needed. The MRC of Dutchess County supports the departments of Emergency Response and Behavioral & Community Health when responding to incidents of all kinds. Members receive routine training, free of charge, to prepare them to assist in both emergencies and non-emergency events.

The MRC of Dutchess County meets twice a month, offering training and informational presentations. The next presentation is on bleeding control and will be held on Wednesday, October 25th at the Department of Emergency Response, 392 Creek Road in Poughkeepsie.