Volunteers needed to help protect Carter County

From Staff Reports

   In the seven-county Northeast Tennessee region, planning is under way to establish seven smallpox vaccination clinics capable of vaccinating more than 5,000 persons per day, a task that will require more than 100 staff members. Carter and Johnson County, as well as state officials, are seeking volunteers.
   Each clinic will be open a minimum of 16 hours per day (two eight-hour shifts). There are only 4,500 public health staff statewide. An estimated 25,000 persons are needed.
   Volunteers with health care training such as physicians, nurses, EMTs, pharmacists, dentists, and veterinarians are in demand, and thousands more will be needed to carry out other tasks such as clerical support, supply management and traffic/crowd control. Volunteers also may be called on to respond to other public health emergencies should the need arise.
   Volunteers and their family members will be offered the vaccine prior to the clinics being opened to the general public, according to state health officials. Each volunteer will be trained and assigned to a specific clinic, shift and job function. Volunteers must be at least 18 years of age.
   Forms are available at the Carter and Johnson County Health Departments for persons interested in volunteering. Interested individuals may also write health department officials in either county and notify them that they would like to volunteer. The following information should be included:
   * Individuals must state whether they are a trained healthcare provider (M.D., R.N., L.P.N., pharmacist, dentist, veterinarian, EMT or other).
   * Those not in the healthcare profession should state if they are willing to learn to administer the vaccine.
   * Whether they are willing to volunteer for a non-medical service (clerical, supply management, etc.).
   * Whether they are interested in volunteering for crowd/traffic control and/or security.
   Individuals must include their name, home address, home and work phone numbers or another number where they might be reached, as well as the name of their employer.
   Mail to: Carter County Health Department, 403 E. G St., Elizabethton, TN 37643; or Johnson County Health Department, 715 W. Main St., Mountain City, TN 37683.