EDS or Emergency Dispending Sites are locations in each of the towns throughout Cape Cod and the Islands designated to provide mass vaccinations in the event of bioterrorism or an infectious disease outbreak. The source of supply for the vaccines and pharmaceuticals is the Strategic Natioal Stockpile (SNS). This is available for immediate deployment anywhere in the United States within 12 hours. To access these assets in times of emergencies, each town must establish at least one EDS to provide mass vaccinations to its population within 48 hours of opening the site. This process will require unprecedented coordination of various agencies and facility operators, as well as the recruitment of volunteers with a wide variety of skills and responsibilities. In addition to trained medical staff for triage, medical screening and evaluation, vaccination and medical treatment each dispensing site requires logistical support staff to greet individuals, direct traffic, take information and otherwise assist the public at the treatment site.
Voluteering for an EDS is a very important commitment as well as a vital community service. When you volunteer we ask you to register and let us put your contact information and experience in a database for "rapid recall" if the contingency plan is ever activated. You will also be asked to attend a training session that will cover all aspects of the EDS. If there is a bioterrorist event or an infectious disease outbreak, you may be alerted or called and asked to volunteer, but you are not obligated to assist in an emergency or any other situation. The decision you make, at that time about volunteering, is up to you. However, the Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment strongly encourages you to consider the fact that your community will need you and it is our hope that you will follow through on your volunteer commitment at what will be a crucial time in responding to this type of emergency. Contact us at the EDS Hotline: 1-800-959-5849 or the Volunteer Coordinator: Barnstable County Department of Health and Environment; Barnstable Superior Courthouse; P.O. Box 427; Barnstable MA 02630 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.