During the week of May 16-20, the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) Central Iowa Health Care System will be conducting a series of exercise activities associated with its role as a National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Federal Coordinating Center. The NDMS is a component of the National Response Framework that combines federal and non-federal medical resources into a unified response to support local and State health and medical needs following a catastrophic disaster.
As a NDMS Federal Coordinating Center, VA Central Iowa Health Care System is responsible for establishing community partnerships, developing operational plans and associated capabilities necessary to receive evacuated disaster victims requiring hospitalization into Des Moines and transporting them to community hospitals for care.
The exercise is being held in conjunction with the "National Level Exercise 2011", a multi-state, multi-federal agency exercise designed to support regional planning, to prepare for, respond to and recover from a catastrophic earthquake in the New Madrid seismic zone. During the exercise VA Central Iowa Health Care System will implement operational activities to progress from NDMS alert to activation to the actual receipt of simulated patients evacuated from the Missouri disaster area.
On Thursday, May 19, the VA Central Iowa Health Care System will establish a NDMS Patient Reception Site at the 132nd Fighter Wing, Iowa Air National Guard, and conduct a series of full-scale patient reception exercise activities. The "main event" will be the arrival of a military C-130 aircraft transporting simulated earthquake victims (mannequins) to Des Moines. Locally the goal is to assemble a group of 60 "patient volunteers" that will represent these plus additional earthquake victims. The patient volunteers will be triaged and processed by a medical reception team at the 132nd Fighter Wing and transported by ambulances to Des Moines area hospitals. The hospitals will, in turn, implement portions of their mass casualty reception plans to receive and triage the incoming patient volunteers.
The VA is seeking 60 volunteers to serve as simulated patients. The volunteers will be moulaged with bandages, splints, etc. to represent injuries sustained in the earthquake.
A week prior to the exercise, the VA will need to collect personal information required by the 132nd Fighter Wing for civilians to be granted access onto the base. This will include full social security number, date of birth, driver's license number, etc. The VA will work with the volunteers directly to gather this information.
Volunteers must be able to stand, sit and/or lay supine for an extended period of time.
Volunteers will be asked to car pool to reduce traffic and parking. Individuals and vehicles could be subject to search when entering the base.
All volunteers will need to have a photo ID.
All volunteers must register and be accepted as a volunteer by the VA. If a volunteer is not cleared they will not be allowed on the base.
Additional volunteer instructions will be distributed to the registered volunteers closer to the date of the exercise.