Exercise Benefits / Facts
The Five College Emergency Preparedness Committee comprised of representatives from Amherst, Hampshire, Mount Holyoke and Smith Colleges and the University of Massachusetts Amherst undertook an initiative to design, conduct and evaluate an exercise entitled “Five College JIS – A Public Information Coordination Tabletop Exercise”.
This exercise served as an opportunity for representatives from the five colleges, public health, emergency management and public safety to assess the capabilities of establishing and managing a Joint Information System (JIS) due to a foodborne illness affecting the region.
An Amherst food science student, who works for UMass Catering Services, comes to University Health Services (UHS) with fever, severe diarrhea, malaise, anorexia and abdominal pain. He is seen and a stool culture is obtained. Primary stool culture results indicate the student has Hepatitis A. He is transported to Cooley Dickinson Hospital (CDH) via ambulance and admitted to the hospital.
Investigation by the UMass Public Health nurse reveals that the student’s job at Catering Services was to prep salad bar vegetables as well as prepare the ingredients used in the “World’s Largest Sushi Roll” event. The student acknowledges that he was ill for two days prior to coming to Health Services and while at work.
The Five College JIS Exercise was conducted on June 6, 2013, at Amherst College in Amherst, Massachusetts.