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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Regional and National Level Exercises

Some NDMS team members periodically participate in regional and national level exercises. As part of these exercises, NDMS teams may set up a base of operations like they would use in the field when responding to a disaster. They practice using the supplies and equipment contained within the medical and supply caches – the same caches they would use during real-world responses. Through this training, NDMS professionals and para-professionals learn about the equipment they will have available to treat patients and how to use it.


NDMS team members participating in training class.


Working together as a team – not just as a group of individuals – is a critical part of the success of any NDMS mission. As part of their training, NDMS professionals work with other members of their team from across town or other NDMS members from across the country. By practicing as a team before a disaster, they are better equipped to make decisions that help protect health and save lives.

These exercises are one of many important ways of maintaining a ready force capable of helping those affected by large-scale disasters.

These exercises are just part of the training ASPR arranges for NDMS members each year to keep their skills honed. NDMS members also train at various sites across the country such as the Center for Domestic Preparedness, an all-hazards training facility, operated by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).

During the training at the FEMA facility, NDMS members experience realistic scenarios and participate in hands-on mass casualty exercises in which actors and sophisticated patient simulators (“dummies”) are the disaster survivors that NDMS members triage and treat.

NDMS Seal 

Watch, Learn and Listen

Video: NDMS Patient Movement Exercise 
  • This page last reviewed: September 09, 2017