ESCMP to hold briefing on CHEMPACK program

The Emergency Services Coalition for Medical Preparedness recently announced that it will host an educational briefing regarding the CHEMPACK program in Washington, DC.

The briefing is called "Retaining, Replenishing & Renewing the CHEMPACK" and is scheduled from 12:15 p.m. to 1:30 p.m on Jan. 23 in Washington at the Cannon House Office Building in Room 311. The ESCMP is hosting the briefing to demonstrate how the CHEMPACK program can be optimized and sustained for another cycle through further development, renewal and replenishment.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Division of Strategic National Stockpile launched the CHEMPACK program in 2003. CHEMPACKs are comprised of antidotes to nerve and chemical agents and can be found in more than 1,800 fire houses and hospitals. One CHEMPACK can immediately provide symptomatic relief for up to 1,000 mild or moderately exposed victims of a nerve agent release.

Since the CHEMPACK program was launched, it has had no fundamental renewal, despite the introduction of new monitoring technology and products. The ESCMP said the program is a critical asset for the emergency services and hospital communities. The coalition suggests the CHEMPACK program be returned to full funding as a necessary component of medical preparedness.

The briefing will describe the current nature of threats from nerve and chemical agents, the effects of cuts to the core funding of the CHEMPACK program and strategies for the renewal of the CHEMPACK program.

Representatives will be on hand for the briefing from the Monterrey Institute for International Studies, the National Center for Security and Preparedness, the International Association of Emergency Services Chiefs, the International Association of Fire Chiefs, the CDC and the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority.

The ESCMP is a coalition that represents more than three million emergency services providers and their need for protection against radiological, chemical and biological events.