Hawaii agencies prepare for anthrax scares - Hawaii News Now - KGMB and KHNL

Hawaii agencies prepare for anthrax scares

Doug Aton Doug Aton

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - On Wednesday the Hawaii Civil Defense and the Federal Fire Department were just some of the 10 agencies that participated in the third Makaala Drill at the U.S postal service processing and distribution center near the airport.

The 9/11 scare prompted the US Postal Service to use the Biohazard Detection System (BDS) in 2005. On Wednesday postal service workers evacuated the building while Honolulu and Federal Fire fighters were in suits controlling the decontamination process. HPD personnel volunteered to go through a mock decontamination process requiring them to change out of their clothes, undergo a liquid wash and change into a blue trek suit.

"As you can see by the response, it takes a lot of resources and a lot of man power so we want to make sure that we don't tax the fire department and the police department, and the emergency medical department people. We do this at least once every three years so it takes care of the changes in command, administration personnel and to make sure that we integrate our plan with theirs." said Aton.

The BDS is used at every major processing and distribution center across the nation. Hawaii has only one major process and distribution center. Along with the Makaala drill, the US Postal service also has other plans that prepare the postal staff during other emergencies.

Aton said, "Its a daily basis of making sure that they are aware of the dangers that we face as an island state and they know what to do during these annexes to make sure that they are safe in their work environment."

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