The Niagara County Department of Health has aced its latest exam.
"After conducting a rigorous onsite review of Niagara County's emergency preparedness program on Oct. 22, 2012, the New York State Department of Health awarded the Niagara County Department of Health a perfect score of 100 percent for its efforts," said Niagara County Public Health Director Daniel Stapleton.
This is the fourth time the Niagara County emergency preparedness program received high marks for its program performance. The past four annual reviews, conducted alternately by the NYSDOH Office of Emergency Preparedness and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, netted the Department a 98 percent, followed by three consecutive perfect scores - despite budget reductions and increasing federal and state homeland security readiness mandates.
The following is an excerpt from the state review report received late Friday, Feb. 15:
"Overall Preparedness Score: 100% Comments: Niagara County continues to demonstrate exceptional work in preparedness. The attention to detail and completeness of their plans, attachments and reference materials is a model for other jurisdictions. Further, the County shows dedication to their partners and their customers in their remarkable work at outreach and inclusion of partners in their planning and response activities. Niagara County has a unique perspective of preparedness plans and has discovered innovative ways to merge all activities to maximize every response and activity. This forward thinking goes beyond a response requiring assets from the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS). Their SNS Plan and associated documents meet the detail and requirements requested in the Local Technical Assistance Review Tool. Niagara County takes planning beyond the requirements and should continue to think forward and prepare for all-hazards responses. The progress Niagara County has made by engaging their partners will allow them to adapt and respond to a number of possible activities requiring the Health Department to respond. Niagara County has a robust medical countermeasure clinical operations plan and has demonstrated the ability to activate the plan through annual exercises. Future planning initiatives include consolidation of information between planning documents and a strengthening the all hazards approach to medical countermeasure dispensing activities."
The CDC will conduct the next review in October.