OSWEGO COUNTY – Oswego County’s Health Department and Emergency Management Office (EMO) have joined forces to bring COVID-19 vaccinations and testing and other government services to various locations around the county, thanks to the new “Healthy for Life” trailer.
The EMO used funding from a Federal Emergency Management Planning Grant Supplemental that was dedicated to COVID-19 planning and response activities to build a trailer for the county’s COVID-19 vaccination and testing program. EMO staff collaborated with health department staff on construction of the trailer. The EMO deeded it to the health department in July.
“This will give the health department the ability to set up on site more easily in areas that have shown a need for vaccinations or testing, especially the more rural areas of the county,” said EMO Emergency Management Coordinator Renee Fox, who helped design the trailer. “All they’ll need is a parking lot. The trailer has everything needed for a clinic.”
The trailer was built with a side window that allows it to be used as a walk-up site if needed. It has cabinets, workspaces and its own electric power supply. Traffic control cones and barriers, a pop-up tent, office supplies and other materials were purchased with grant funds to make the trailer self-sufficient.
The trailer was built by Racemaster Engineering of Oswego following a bidding process. Racemaster Engineering worked with Health Department and EMO staff to custom build the trailer to make it as efficient and streamlined as possible. “They met with us frequently to ensure our needs were met,” Fox said.
“Our department is very happy to work with the health department on this project,” EMO Director Cathleen Palmitesso said. “Since the pandemic began, our two departments and many other departments and agencies in the county have worked closely together to manage the crisis. We were offered this grant opportunity from the federal government and felt this was the best way to use the funds for the benefit of Oswego County residents.”
“The trailer is incredibly handy,” said Sonia Robinson, public health educator for the Oswego County Health Department. “The size is easy to maneuver, and it holds a great deal of equipment.”
Diane Oldenburg, senior public health educator for the Oswego County Health Department, added, “The trailer is helping us meet our mission. There are sections of our community where it’s difficult for people to access services. This trailer will help us bring services to them.”
The “Healthy for Life” logo on the trailer was designed by Motivated Creations of Oswego and helps to identify it as a health resource. “People will be able to see that this is an Oswego County Health Department vehicle and will know that’s where services are being provided,” Fox noted.
The trailer has been taken to clinics in Sandy Creek, SUNY Oswego and Camp Hollis in recent weeks. With third doses and booster doses expected in the coming months, health department staff expect to take the trailer on the road often.
“We appreciate our working relationship with the Emergency Management Department,” said Robinson. “We’re looking forward to bringing the vaccination program to people in more convenient locations.”
For more information, go to the Oswego County Health Department’s COVID-19 page at health.oswegocounty.com/covid-19 or call its COVID-19 Hotline at 315-349-3330. Phone lines are open from 8:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Under New York State Public Health Law, the Oswego County Health Department is the local public health authority regarding the COVID-19 pandemic response within the County of Oswego. The Oswego County Health Department works closely with New York State Department of Health regarding COVID-19 monitoring, response, and reporting.