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Spring Valley discusses H1N1 flu and 800 mhz radios


Fri, Aug 28th, 2009
Posted in Government

Issues involving radios and H1N1 flu consumed most of the city council meeting on Monday night.

John Dols of the Emergency Management Team briefed the council on a meeting he had gone to last week in Preston concerning the H1N1 flu. He reported that the county is making plans to deal with any pandemic and a tabletop exercise was the main focus of the meeting last week. Dols said that there were three main points discussed at the county meeting:

1. Isolation. This will be imperative for those people that are ill in their homes. The deciding factor on the time before these people can be released will be if they are able to go 24 hours with no fever and they are not taking any fever preventatives.

2. There may be mass dispersing sites set up in the county.

3. Communities might set up flu centers were people can come for treatment of non-H1N1 flu.

The numbers that have been released by Fillmore County Public Health, indicate that in a "Moderate Pandemic" like 1958 or 1968 there could be as many as 6,410 people ill in Fillmore County, 3,205 would be seeking outpatient care, 65 would be hospitalized and 10 in ICU. Public Health figures indicate as many as 15 deaths in Fillmore County.

In a severe pandemic, like the one that happened in 1918, the number of deaths climbs to 135.

Brenda Pohlman, health educator of Public Health Nursing encourages everyone to go to the following web sites for further information.

• Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: http://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/

• Minnesota Department of Health: http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/idepc/diseases/flu/h1n1/index.html

• Fillmore County: http://www.co.fillmore.mn.us/

Dols continued his presentation before the council by recommending that the oldest ambulance, a 1996, be converted to an Emergency Management unit. It would be outfitted with equipment that would be useable as a mobile command post in case of a disaster. It would have all of the backups for the EOC radios and other equipment. Dols said that much of the equipment has already been donated and will be installed after the city council gives their nod of approval. The request was granted and work on the emergency management vehicle will be started immediately.

Jim Cooper, ambulance director, appeared before the council and said that he had attended a meeting last week on the 800 MHz radio system being proposed for Fillmore County. There is a deadline for counties to decide on the system that will be recommended for the county. There are currently 3 options and it would appear as though the statewide Armor system will be the one selected by most counties. For Fillmore, this would mean a cost of 3.8 million dollars. Under the proposal, there would be no cost to the cities unless they purchase more radios in the future. At the present time it is believed four towers in the county will be necessary. Two are already in service and two more will follow.

City Administrator Deb Zimmer reminded the council that the preliminary budget for the city is due September 14th and it needs to be approved at that time. The final budget needs to be adopted on December 14th and be approved that night.

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