Indiana County first responders train for anthrax

Indiana's Tippecanoe County Health Department conducted a bioterrorism training scenario on Tuesday which simulated a massive anthrax outbreak at the Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds.

The hour-long training session prepared health officials to dispense medications, deal with certain kinds of medical issues and handle the general public during a stressful situation, Wlfi.com reports.

"We have the general public coming through to basically see how fast we could dispense medications to the general public," Donella Carter, the health department's nurse supervisor, said, according to Wlfi.com.

Actors played the role of the general public while nurses were played by health department employees and nursing students. The health department sought to treat every patient that walked in as quickly as possible.

"We treated 75 people in 29 minutes and 44 seconds," Carter said, according to Wlfi.com. "We're pretty proud of ourselves because I think we did a really good job."

The participants said they learned skills that will stick with them forever.

"It gives me peace of mind to know that we really do think about these things before something bad happens, that we're not just waiting for the other shoe to drop," Jessica Jaeger, a medical faculty member at Ivy Tech, said, according to Wlfi.com.

The fairgrounds is one of five places where mass treatment would occur in the area during a legitimate emergency scenario.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention requires that counties receiving grants conduct training once every two years, Wlfi.com reports.