Florida parish conducts anthrax exercise

More than 100 first responders and volunteers recently participated in an anthrax release response drill held in Amite, Florida.

The Tangipahoa Parish Office of Homeland Security organized the exercise, which was funded by a grant acquired through the federal government. Representatives from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention were on hand to evaluate the results, according to HammondStar.com.

Tangipahoa President Gordon Burgess said that he wants everyone in the parish to be prepared for a possible pandemic and was pleased with how the exercise played out.

"In the event that we do have such an outbreak, whether it is anthrax or whatever, we want to be prepared as best we can," Burgess said, HammondStar.com reports. "This small drill is something that we're hoping never happens in reality. It was just something we needed to do. Hopefully we'll never need it, but we want to be prepared for it."

Kevin Davis, the director of the Governor's Office of Homeland Security and Emergency Preparedness, said that the exercise was well organized and worthwhile.

"It's a great opportunity to be able to actually deploy and get the folks responsible involved," Davis said, HammondStar.com reports. "A lot of people ask why we're doing this, but you always have to be prepared. It's very important that everybody knows what their roles are."