FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: February 10, 2009

CONTACT: Sebastian D’Elia, 908-527-4419
Tina Casey, 908-527-4346




Elizabeth, NJ – Two new Homeland Security grants totaling just over $323,700 will help equip Union County to enhance its preparedness for public health emergencies.  The funds will also be used for communications equipment related to general emergency planning and response.

“Preparation is the key,” said Union County Freeholder Chairman Alexander Mirabella. “We hope we never need to use this equipment, but in the event of an emergency it will enable us to
kick-start our response and act more quickly.”

The new funds are targeted for acquiring additional “Point of Distribution in a Box” kits. The kits enable Union County to set up temporary emergency health clinics when needed, in advance of help arriving from state or federal agencies.

The funds will also go to implement a needle-less vaccination initiative. Needle-less syringes work by using CO2 to inject vaccines or other medication. They reduce the risk of accidental injury to health workers, or to Union County Medical Reserve Corps volunteers who are called upon to assist in an emergency.

Radios and videoconferencing equipment for emergency response are also included in the funding.

In addition to health care professionals, the Union County Medical Reserve Corps includes community volunteers who perform non-medical aspects of emergency response, such as administration and communication.  To find out more about volunteering, call the Union County Office of Health Management at 908-518-5620, or visit