Medical Center personnel examine a "patient"
admitted in the June 10 Lifesaver 2003 Homeland Security
exercise. From left, Lori Prewitt, R.N.; Dr. Michael
Sternberg, assistant director of emergency medicine;
Lorie Davis, R.N.; and, left background, Lisa Archie,
University of South Alabama Medical Center and USA Knollwood
Hospital participated June 10 in Lifesaver 2003, a major Homeland
Security National Disaster Medical System exercise. USA Children's
and Women's Hospital is scheduled to take part in the drill
two-day exercise is based on a "what if" scenario.
It supposes that operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom
resulted in substantial casualties, rather than the relatively
few actually sustained. Under the exercise scenario, casualties
from the conflicts overwhelm the capabilities of the overseas
medical facilities and traditional Department of Defense facilities
in the United States. As a result, the president, in coordination
with the departments of Health and Human Services and Homeland
Security, activates the NDMS.
hospitals are already prepared for disaster responsiveness,"
said Stan Hammack, senior hospital administrator. "This
was an excellent opportunity to coordinate with other local
and regional agencies and demonstrate our readiness."
SouthFlite, USA's aeromedical transport helicopter, also participated
in the exercise.
established in 1988, has never been activated for a wartime
contingency operation. Operation Iraqi Freedom would have
been the first use of the NDMS.
is testing transportation and health care capabilities in
Mobile; Pensacola, Fla.; and Gulfport, Miss., while working
under a joint military/civilian command. Up to 300 "wounded"
patients were scheduled to be processed and triaged at airport
patient reception areas in each city, and then sent to NDMS
hospitals such as USA Medical Center, USA Knollwood Hospital
and USA Children's and Women's Hospital. At
Mobile's patient reception area, located at Brookley Field,
University personnel who are members of the Alabama 3 Disaster
Medical Assistance Team participated in the exercise.