NEW YORK — The FDNY held the eighth annual BIOPOD exercise on Nov. 12, offering the trivalent influenza vaccine to all FDNY members.
The drill is held each year so the Department can be prepared and plan its response to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive incidents.
"I recommend the public get their flu shot this year to not only to protect themselves, but also their families," Fire Commissioner Salvatore Cassano said after receiving his vaccine at the POD located at FDNY Headquarters.
To reach all the FDNY's first responders, the Department set up 17 points of distribution (PODs) located throughout the five boroughs, and one mobile POD. Fire companies, EMS units and administrative staff were dispatched to the POD closest to where they work between 6 a.m. and midnight.
The Department also deployed its Incident Management Team to coordinate the exercise.
"This tests our preparedness and provides our members with an important vaccination that will protect them and the public," said Dr. Kerry Kelly, the FDNY's Chief Medical Officer.
The vaccine provides protection from two strains of the influenza virus as well as the H1N1 pandemic. Members are not required to receive the vaccine, but approximately 10,000 were available to FDNY members who chose to receive it.
The annual drill is conducted by the FDNY Bureau of Health Services in conjunction with the FDNY Bureau of Operations and is part of the City's overall emergency response plan that combines the efforts of the Fire Department with other city agencies, including the Police Department, Department of Health and Mental Hygiene and Office of Emergency Management.
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