Tennessee Valley Healthcare System

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Federal Disaster Exercise - National Disaster Medical System (NDMS)

April 15, 2010

Federal Disaster Exercise Planned in Nashville

Federal, military and state disaster teams will conduct an exercise implementing the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) April 28 at Tennessee Air National Guard's Berry Field. The exercise will begin at 9:30 a.m.

NDMS is a nationwide, coordinated response of emergency medical services in case of a disaster of great magnitude. The system is a cooperative effort of the Department of Veterans Affairs, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Defense, Federal Emergency Management Agency, state and local governments, and the private sector. NDMS is comprised of approximately 2,000 hospitals, medical evacuation and regulating system, and specialized teams.

The exercise scenario will assume a catastrophic hurricane that occurs on the southern portion of the country. The scenario includes casualties who are required to be evacuated to established reception areas across the country.

This exercise is being coordinated by the Department of Veterans Affairs Tennessee Valley Healthcare System and Metro Nashville/Davidson County Department of Health. Several area hospitals and other state and local agencies are also participating.

NDMS compliments state and local efforts in the event of a wide spread disaster that requires "mutual aid" among different areas of the nation. NDMS serves "national" disasters such as earthquakes, storms, fires, nuclear reactor accidents, WMD events, or an overseas conventional military conflict producing military casualties evacuated to the United States for treatment.

NDMS is divided into 75 areas. In each area, a Federal hospital has been designated as a Federal Coordinating Center (FCC). The VA Medical Center Nashville is one of the FCC's. In the event of an activation of the NDMS, the Nashville FCC is responsible for coordinating activities to include transportation, communication, medical manpower, and establishing patient administration procedures.

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