Public Health Emergency - Leading a Nation Prepared
Communication, sharing and partnership played a key role in successful response efforts. The Regional Medical Communication Centers funded by ASPR grants are operational 24/7, and were actively involved in the tornado and flood response. The RMCC’s assisted other states as well as counties in Tennessee during the response with requesting ambulances, routing patients and relaying information to hospitals in Tennessee.
During the event, the Tennessee State Emergency Operations Center was opened to aid in response efforts. This included ESF-8, which was activated to support the medical needs of the public. Also, the State Health Operation Center was activated to assist in response efforts and to provide support to the Regional Hospital Coordinators. The HPP Coordinator worked out of the State Health Operations Center to communicate with RHC’s on collected data for the ESF-8 Medical Director on the number of injured patients, fatalities and damages to Tennessee Hospitals. During the flooding response, the HPP Coordinator also was in contact with the Memphis/Shelby Regional Hospital Coordinator as well as the Emergency Response Coordinator. The HPP Coordinator had previously worked with the Memphis/Shelby RHC and St. Jude on evacuation plans and needs if a patient evacuation was necessary. This proved invaluable before the flood so that HPP staff, TEMA and the ESF-8 Medical Director were well aware of the evacuation plans that were in place for St. Jude Children’s Hospital. St. Jude lowered their patient census so that Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital would be able to receive the transfer of patients if needed.
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Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), 200 Independence Ave., SW, Washington, DC 20201
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