An emergency medical technician from Cleveland, Jimmy Woody, and an emergency room registered nurse from Chattanooga, Bren Ingleis, are participating in a unique National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) training at the nation’s premier, all-hazards training facility in Alabama from Feb. 27 to March 4. Mr. Woody serves as a member of an NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team. Ms. Ingle serves as a member of an NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

The NDMS is a federally administered program that can support communities with medical care and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies, and is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

There are 109 NDMS members from Tennessee.

NDMS teams consist of physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff. When an emergency overwhelms local and state resources, ASPR looks to the expertise within NDMS teams from across the country to assist in the response. The most realistic training NDMS teams can receive to prepare for this vital mission is at the Center for Domestic Preparedness operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in Anniston, Al.

“NDMS supports communities with medical or veterinary care or mortuary operations after disasters,” said Ron Miller, acting director of ASPR’s NDMS. “The intense, realistic training teams receive at this facility serves our nation and local communities well when NDMS is called upon to assist after a disaster strikes.”

To help make the training as realistic as possible, NDMS members participate in hands-on mass casualty exercises in which actors and sophisticated patient simulators are the disaster survivors NDMS members triage and treat. During the week-long training sessions, responders operate medical facilities similar to field hospitals and effectively manage medical needs arising from the disaster scenario.

Approximately 5,000 medical, public health, and emergency management professionals comprise the NDMS, organized into nearly 80 types of response teams. Although they hail from communities nationwide, they are Federal government employees who are part of a coordinated federal response.

ASPR leads the nation in preventing, preparing for, and responding to the adverse health effects of public health emergencies and disasters. It focuses on preparedness planning and response; building Federal emergency medical operational capabilities; countermeasures research, advance development, and procurement; and grants to strengthen the capabilities of hospitals and health care systems in public health emergencies and medical disasters.

For more information about Federal medical response and NDMS, visit Cleveland EMT And Chattanooga RN Undergoing Intensive Disaster Training –