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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 26, 2008

Governor Blagojevich announces beginning of statewide preparedness exercises
Illinois is a national leader for pandemic influenza preparedness

SPRINGFIELD – In another step to keep Illinoisans safe during an emergency, Governor Rod R. Blagojevich today announced The Illinois Department of Public Health will begin a statewide pandemic influenza tabletop exercise series starting August 26 and running through November 6, 2008.  The exercises are designed to discuss county preparedness plans and ways in which the State would provide resources in the case of an influenza pandemic.
 
“Illinois has become a leader in the nation for emergency preparedness efforts.  Exercises like this test our ability to respond at the local level and strengthen the State’s overall preparedness.  We can identify our strengths and weaknesses during these exercises, build better partnerships and gain valuable knowledge to respond to emergencies,” said Governor Blagojevich.   
 
The exercise series will provide an opportunity for local health departments, hospitals, local law enforcement and emergency management agencies to discuss security needs outlined in each county’s community-based pandemic influenza plan.  Additionally, the exercises will identify gaps or discrepancies in security plans and determine necessary plan revisions based on support capacity and capabilities.
 
“These exercises will not only require a tremendous amount of coordination between state agencies, but also between the state and local level,” said Illinois Department of Public Health Director Dr. Damon T. Arnold.  “On the local level, we have trained with and depended heavily on coordination with local health departments and hospitals for dispensing medications during a pandemic flu.  Now we will look at what security measures will be needed at hospitals and medical facilities during an emergency to ensure everyone safely receives the medical help they need and avoid mass chaos.” 
 
The exercise series will involve more than 1,400 participants, across 21 locations, and will look closely at 97 county pandemic response plans.
 
“This exercise series is about strengthening working relationships among our partners in law enforcement, emergency management communities and the healthcare industry.  It’s about increasing preparedness by sharing information and processes,” said Greg Chance, Knox County Health Department Administrator.
 
 
  • Identify and discuss roles and responsibilities of the law enforcement community in responding to a public health event.
  • Examining possible security mission in healthcare and public health response operations plans.
  • Discussing risk communications and public messaging needs in responding to an influenza pandemic.
  • Determining necessary revisions to the security sections of local emergency plans concerning law enforcement, hospitals and public health departments.
 
A report outlining corrective actions and an improvement plan will be created during the early months of 2009.
 
Training locations and dates are as follows:
 
DATE
LOCATION
COUNTIES INVOLVED
August 26, 2008
Harrah’s Metropolis
100 East Front Street
Metropolis
Alexander, Hardin, Johnson, Massac, Pope, Pulaski, Union
August 27, 2008
John A. Logan College
700 Logan College Road
Carterville
Franklin, Jackson, Perry, Williamson
August 28, 2008
Southeastern Illinois College
Rt. 13
Harrisburg
Edwards, Gallatin, Saline, Wabash, White
September 16, 2008
Hilton Garden Inn
3100 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield
Cass, Mason, Morgan, Scott
September 17, 2008
Crowne Plaza
3000 South Dirksen Parkway
Springfield
Christian, Logan, Menard, Sangamon
September 18, 2008
Rend Lake Resort
11712 E. Windy Lane
Whittington
Hamilton, Jefferson, Marion, Washington, Wayne
September 23, 2008
Holiday Inn
1000 Eastport Plaza Drive
Collinsville
Bond, Calhoun, Green, Jersey, Macoupin, Montgomery
 
September 24, 2008
Holiday Inn
1000 Eastport Plaza Drive
Collinsville, IL  62234
Clinton, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, St. Clair
September 25, 2008
Keller Convention Center
Hilton Garden Inn
1202 N. Keller Drive
Effingham
Clay, Crawford, Effingham, Fayette, Jasper, Lawrence, Richland
September 30, 2008
Keller Convention Center
Hilton Garden Inn
1202 N. Keller Drive
Effingham
Clark, Coles, Cumberland, Douglas, Edgar
October 1, 2008
Eagle Creek
Findlay
DeWitt, Macon, Moultrie, Piatt
October 2, 2008
Hilton Garden Inn
Champaign
Champaign, Shelby, Vermilion
October 7, 2008
Country Inn & Suites
Quincy
Adams, Brown, Hancock, Pike, Schuyler
October 8, 2008
To be determined
Fulton, Knox, McDonough
October 21, 2008
Embassy Suites
East Peoria
Marshall, Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford
October 22, 2008
Double Tree Hotel
Bloomington
Livingston, McLean
October 23, 2008
Kankakee
Ford, Iroquois, Kankakee
October 28, 2008
Holiday Inn
Rock Island
Henderson, Henry, Mercer, Rock Island, Stark, Warren
October 29, 2008
Starved Rock Lodge
Ottawa
Bureau, Grundy, Kendall, LaSalle, Putnam
November 5, 2008
Cliffbreakers
Rockford
Boone, DeKalb, Lee, Ogle, Winnebago
November 6, 2008
Eagle Ridge
Galena
Carroll, Jo Daviess, Stephenson, Whiteside


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