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Category: Exercises & Trainings

How to Save a Life in 12 Minutes Using Just Your Bare Hands

Author: ASPR/OPP Division of Policy and Strategic Planning
Published Date: 5/31/2017 11:10:00 AM
Category: National Health Security; Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings;

Twelve minutes doesn’t seem like a lot of time. It’s about enough time to go through your morning e-mail, take out the trash and feed the dog, or grab a cup of coffee. But if someone’s heartbeat or breathing has stopped, 12 minutes means the difference between life and death. On average, it takes first responders 8-12 minutes to respond to a 911 call, according to the American Red Cross. The chance of survival for someone in need of defibrillation is reduced by 10% for each minute that passes without it.

Most people who survive those twelve minutes were helped by a bysta  Read more…

Strengthening Global Health Security: A 17-Year Partnership

Author: Division of International Heath Security
Published Date: 3/8/2017 6:07:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings;

In 2009, the influenza virus called H1N1 emerged in the United States and swiftly worked its way around the world, creating the first pandemic in decades. We learned that Mother Nature can be an efficient bioterrorist. From that global response as well as other nations’ responses to emerging infectious diseases and man-made terrorism – from bombings to chemical weapons – we’ve seen the advantages in collaborating with partner countries. Working together to strengthen global health security helps us become better prepared at home to respond to natural and man-made threats.

O  Read more…

Preparing for the Worst Means Training Like the Best

Author: Ron Miller, Acting Director, National Disaster Medical System, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services
Published Date: 2/23/2017 10:40:00 AM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Public Health Preparedness;

NDMS teams train regionally to protect health nationwide when disasters strike

When rain fell in Louisiana last year, the local health care system was flooded with patients.  The state requested the help of medical professionals from National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) – a network of over 5,000 health and medical professionals managed by the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). NDMS teams were on the ground in a matter of  Read more…

‘Tis the Season for Volunteering … with the MRC

Author: Brennan Leddy, Communications Specialist, Medical Reserve Corps Program
Published Date: 12/21/2016 3:28:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Exercises & Trainings;

This holiday season and into the New Year, I challenge us to also think of ways that we can give of our professional skills, training, and time to serve our local communities. While there are countless ways to do so — many of which were mentioned on the November ASPR blog — the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) provides a unique volunteer opportunity to strengthen public health and improve the safety of your community.

Established in 2002, the Medical Reserve Corps began with 42 community-based volunteer units   Read more…

Want a more resilient community? Start by improving public health in your neighborhood.

Author: Jaya Bhatt, M.S. M.P.H. Junior Management Analyst, Office of Policy and Planning, Division of Policy and Strategic Planning, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 4/6/2016 2:18:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery; Exercises & Trainings;

Think about all of the things that go into making our nation more secure and enhancing our well-being.  What do you think is at the foundation?  For President Obama, it’s public health.  And, you don’t need to be in the medical community to be active in your community and play a vital role in enhancing public health outcomes following disasters.

Healthy communities – the ones where people get outside, know their neighbors, and work together toward common goals – bounce back more effectively when disaster strikes.  They have strong systems to p  Read more…

Volunteering in tough conditions to protect health today and promote disaster preparedness for tomorrow

Author: Bobbie MacKenzie State MRC Volunteer Coordinator New Mexico Department of Health
Published Date: 3/11/2016 1:27:00 PM
Category: Observances; Exercises & Trainings;

The Annual Bataan Memorial Death March is tough. The 26.2 mile march through hot, rugged terrain lasts for 14 hours. Hundreds or even thousands of the 5,800 marchers are likely to need medical attention during the march – making this a “planned mass casualty” event. The New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps is an important part of the team that gets participants the help they need.

For the past five years the New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) has worked with other volunteer disaster teams and the military to provide medical care during the Bataan Memorial Death March. As  Read more…

The chaos before the storm

Author: Ron Miller, Director, National Disaster Medical System
Published Date: 1/20/2016 3:57:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Public Health Preparedness;

Anniston, Alabama, recently became the scene of controlled chaos: waves of patients needing urgent medical care, a steady rotation of helicopters performing medical evacuations, and medical personnel scrambling to decontaminate people affected by an incident. This time the patients were actors, but this degree of realism is what drives ASPR to send National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) personnel to train at FEMA’s Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston. At CDP, the nation’s premier, all-hazards training facility, members of t  Read more…

Protecting Our Community From the Flu While Practicing Our Response Plans: Annual Drive-Thru Point of Distribution Exercise in Onondaga County, New York

Author: Bobbi Alcock, CVA: Coordinator, CNY Medical Reserve Corps
Published Date: 12/7/2015 4:41:00 PM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings;

How do you practice mass prophylaxis/point of distribution (POD) plans, keep Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers actively engaged, and ensure that first responders are protected against seasonal influenza? The Onondaga County Health Department combines all three in an annual drive-thru influenza vaccination exercise.

Why use a drive thru POD? A drive through model helps us do a few very important things. Social distancing, the practice of keeping the sick people away from the healthy people, is  Read more…

Customer Review: Psychological First Aid for Leaders

Author: By Elleen Kane, M.A., APR, Division of Communications, HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 6/22/2015 3:31:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Public Health Preparedness; Response & Recovery;

Disaster season is upon us: flood season, hurricane season, the cusp of wildfire season, tornado season, and then there’s earthquake season which seems to be year-round. To help myself and the team through whatever this year may hold in disasters or disaster responses, I took a free psychological first aid course called, “Building Workforce Resilience through the Practice of Psychological First Aid – A Course for Supervisors and Leaders   Read more…

AHRQ Issue Brief Shows How Simulation Can Help Protect Ebola Patients, Health Care Workers

Author: Richard Kronick, Ph.D, Director of the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality
Published Date: 3/20/2015 9:50:00 AM
Category: Innovations; Exercises & Trainings; Public Health Preparedness;

Simulation has long been recognized as an important tool for promoting safety in high-risk industries. Our aerospace, transportation, and power-generation industries have become steadily safer over the years, in part by training workers through simulation.

As the Ebola virus disease is amply demonstrating, health care is also a high-risk industry. As part of preparedness efforts in responding to Ebola, simulation can detect threats to safety and establish high levels of individual and team performance.

Two imported cases, including one resulting in death, and two lo  Read more…

Even better EMS training to deliver good medicine in bad places

Author: Denis FitzGerald, MD, Division Director, ASPR Tactical Programs, and Greg Smith, Branch Chief, ASPR Tactical Medical Program
Published Date: 5/20/2014 10:49:00 AM
Category: Public Health Preparedness; Exercises & Trainings;


Authors: Denis FitzGerald, MD, Division Director, ASPR Tactical Programs, and Greg Smith, Branch Chief, ASPR Tactical Medical Program

Day after day in neighborhoods around the country, law enforcement officers conduct counter narcotics counter terrorism operations to keep our communities safe.

For 25 years federal agencies have offered rock solid training to the EMTs, paramedics, and medic  Read more…

Planning to Help Communities Find Closure

Author: Elizabeth Jarrett, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response
Published Date: 6/17/2013 1:57:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings; Public Health Preparedness;

Why Community Planners Need an Effective Fatality Management Plan and How to Get Started
Author: Elizabeth Jarrett, Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response

When a major disaster strikes, good community planning can help the survivors cope with all of the losses that they have sustained in the emergency. In mass fatality incidents, it can help ensure that remains are treated wi  Read more…

Shaking Out Emergency Management Advice

Author: Emily P. Falone, MS, CEM, CBCP, Regional Emergency Coordinator, Region 3
Published Date: 10/16/2012 3:04:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings;

By Emily P. Falone, MS, CEM, CBCP, Regional Emergency Coordinator, Region 3

The Great ShakeOut is coming up Oct. 18. The ShakeOut earthquake drills help people improve preparedness and practice how to be safe during earthquakes. The idea started in California and spread. Now more than 17 million people participate worldwide, more than 12 million just in the United States.

  Read more…

Partnering with the Community to Support the NATO Summit

Author: Taylor, Shhonn (HHS/ASPR/COO)
Published Date: 7/18/2012 11:07:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings;

A few weeks ago, the United States made history by hosting a NATO Summit in a U.S. city other than the nation’s capitol. Having this meeting in the United States is fairly unusual in itself; these international meetings rotate among NATO countries so are usually in Europe somewhere. As a National Security Special Event for the United States, the summit required an enormous mobilization of security and response resources. While the City of Chicago is one of the most capable and best prepared in the   Read more…

Do you have the right partners at the table?

Author: Taylor, Shhonn (HHS/ASPR/COO)
Published Date: 3/2/2012 11:55:00 PM
Category: Exercises & Trainings;

Earlier this month I was invited to observe a Regional Table Top Exercise for the Southwest Region in Utah. The exercise, “Where do they go?” attracted an incredible crowd to discuss and plan for a likely scenario to hit this community: bird flu.

The participants teamed up around banquet tables - local public health, local emergency management, fire/Emergency Medical Services, law enforcement, hospital administrators, the National Park Service, dispatchers, school nurses and others. During   Read more…

ASPR Participates in Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention Review Conference

Author: Valdes, Allan (HHS/ASPR/COO)
Published Date: 12/23/2011 10:16:00 AM
Category: Exercises & Trainings;

The 1976 Biological and Toxins Weapons Convention is a critical international agreement that supports global security and public health preparedness and response. Under the BTWC, 165 nations (called “States Parties”) have agreed not to develop, produce, stockpile, acquire, retain, or transfer biological agents or toxins (things like anthrax) except when justified for preventive, protective or other peaceful purposes. Every five years, signatory nations come together at the United Nations in Geneva at a conference known as REVCON to do an article-by-article   Read more…

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