City to consider formal agreement with health department for prevention, disaster reponse

City Commissioners will consider an interlocal agreement during Wednesday’s meeting with the City-County Health Department for emergency preparedness and community health response from Oct. 16, 2018 through Sept. 30, 2021.

The agreement would allow mutual aid between the two government agencies and partnership to provide community health prevention and “mutual response in times of natural/man-made disasters when additional resources are needed and time is of the essence,” according to the staff report.

The Cascade County Commission approved the agreement on Oct. 23.

If approved by the city, it would be the first time a formal agreement has been made between the city and CCHD.

The need for such an agreement became apparent after President Trump’s July visit during which several spectators experienced heat stress issues that resulted in calls for service from Great Falls Fire Rescue.

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City resources were overwhelmed. Most of those who sought help were not serious transportable emergency medical conditions, but needed medical monitoring and minor treatment.

“An after action report brought to light that CCHD has medical health professionals could have supported this operation by using their skills at an established aid station,” according to the city staff report.

Throughout the month of October, CCHD used city fire stations to provide flu shots since the stations are strategically located within the community.

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If approved, the agreement will formalize the sharing of resources and streamline the process of requesting and receiving assistance. Under the agreement, the city would assist CCHD when space is needed to hold influenza or other clinics. CCHD would provide nurses and other staff to help out during disasters.

Under the agreement, each party would be responsible for the costs associated with the performance of their duties and responsibilities.