Sooner or later, Blanco County will have a health disaster, and your neighbors will need your help.
It may just be a bad flu season; we've had some of those in the past few years. But it also could be one of those truly terrible bugs that break out once every century or so, like a killer strain of bird flu or something out of the tropics. Don't even think what terrorists might start somewhere.
Would you be willing to help prevent the spread here in Blanco County?
If so, Jacque Hagerty, Training Director for this region of the Texas Department of State Health Services will be in Johnson City Saturday to teach you how.
This Point of Dispensing (POD) training class is sponsored by the Blanco County Disaster Response Group. A POD needs lots of willing helpers who do not have a medical background.
A POD is the place where the medical professionals give out pills or inject vaccines for local residents to prevent or relieve the disease that threatens us. They have to treat lots of people in a short time, which means large crowds of people -- probably anxious people -- moving through the process.
The doctors and nurses can handle the medical part, but they need help with the non-medical tasks, like directing traffic outside, keeping crowds in order, helping people with paperwork, or just answering questions. Without our help, their medical work would slow to a stop pretty quickly.
The DSHS' solution is to train people in advance so they can call on us in a hurry when they need us, and not have to start by setting up a training class at a time when everyone's anxiety already is up. Better to train now and be ready to go.
In addition to helping stop disease in your community, there's a big self-serving benefit to POD volunteers.
In such an outbreak, we can expect the medicines to be in short supply, to be given out by priority. And who will be up toward the front of the line for hard-to-get treatments? Health-care workers...including POD volunteers!
It's not often you get a chance to do something that benefits your community and may also save your life some day, but this is one of those chances. Don't pass it up.
The free training is 9:30 to 12:30 in the John Wesley Room of the Johnson City 1st United Methodist Church Activities Building. For more information, call JoAnn Routh at 868-7414.