The benefits of being NEAT
When thinking of being a member of NEAT, you might be expecting to join a group that provides tips on how to organize your home or better utilize space in your closet. But did you know that NEAT is an emergency response group made up of Macomb County employees dedicated to serving the community during public health events?
Members of Node Emergency Activation Team, or “NEAT,” are responsible for accepting shipments of crucial medical supplies at a distribution node during a bioterrorism or public health event. This medication would then be sent out to dispensing sites across the county to help save the lives of people who might have been exposed.
“This group is crucial to a rapid response in a public health emergency,” said Andrew Cox, Emergency Preparedness coordinator at the Health Department.
Beginning in 2008, volunteers have met monthly to receive training on how to plan for a public health scenario that would activate their distribution node. Employees find that being a member of NEAT not only improves their ability to help the community, but also increases their confidence in an emergency event. NEAT members and their families would be some of the first individuals in the community to receive medication during an emergency event, so they would be protected when volunteering.
“We do it because it’s the right thing. I love the challenge, and I have learned from the team – they’re a resource professionally and personally,” said Drew Barron, a boiler operator from Macomb County Facilities and Operations. “You don’t find that everywhere. Everyone brings something to the table; everyone plays an intricate part to the group.”
NEAT is always looking for additional invested individuals who would like to volunteer.
Who can join? Any county employee (with approval from their supervisor)! The team needs members with all types of skills. NEAT meets the second Wednesday of the month, from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. For more information or to join, contact Andrew Cox at (586) 466-4135 or firstname.lastname@example.org.