Preparing for Possible Bio-Terrorism Attack

For the third straight year Florida hospitals are receiving a huge federal grant in preparation for a possible bio-terrorism attack, and local health officials say the money has already done a lot for education and training in the likelihood of such an attack

Florida hospitals will share a $25 million federal grant, money that will help buy equipment as well as pay for training and planning. If the real thing should occur, the federal government wants to make sure hospitals are ready.

Warren Jones of Tallahassee Memorial Hospital says, "I think everyone knows that this could happen. Everyone is training for that. Nobody wants to see it happen, but we do want to make sure we are ready."

Tuesday, Florida health secretary John Agwunobi announced Florida hospitals will receive a $25 million federal grant.

"It allows to put together hospital based plans that will respond to any type of emergency or hazard, whether it be a hurricane, bio-terrorism, bomb blasts, or what ever the circumstance might be," Agwunobi says.

Agwunobi says the money will help with the purchase of hospital equipment, protective clothing for hospital staff and education on handling victims of an attack.

Gail Stewart with the Domestic Security Task Force says, "If a patient comes to our hospital and is contaminated, we need to protect ourselves by decontaminating these patients prior to bringing them in.”

"This money really helps us continue training, education, buy more contamination equipment and make the hospital a safe haven, such an incident should happen," adds Warren Jones.

The money will be divided regionally and advisory committees within each region will then allocate the money to their respective hospitals.

Secretary Agwunobi says the money should be available by September of this year.