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National Disaster Medical System Exercise

  • Published
  • By Staff Sgt. Robin Olsen

A hurricane devastated Alabama and other states along the Gulf Coast and the Nashville and Memphis Air National Guard units have been called upon to assist with evacuating people and pets from along the border. Many are in need of medical attention and upon landing at one of the bases; they will be taken either by life-flight or driven by Ambulance to a nearby hospital for further treatment.


This incidence did not actually occur, but in the event something like this were to happen in the future, the Tennessee Air National Guard will be ready to respond after having practiced responding to the National Disaster Medical System during a two-day exercise held at the 118th Airlift Wing in Nashville, April 28, and the 164th Airlift Wing in Memphis, April 29.


NDMS can be used between anywhere in the United States at any of the Air Bases. It is important for the Air National Guard to practice using the system, and things become more complicated when people are evacuated from foreign countries. The Haiti earthquake evacuees are one example.


"Evacuees are brought through Guard bases a lot because they are often connected to an international airport," said Lt. Col. Dennis Neal, Deputy Director, J-7,Tennessee Air National Guard.

"The NDMS was designed to provide medical assistance to injured people in another part of the country. It sets a process in place that allows the government to evacuate patients to safe locations," said Neal.

Under the system, the military provides the transportation from the devastated area to a safe location somewhere else in the United States. Once the aircraft arrive, Veterans Affairs takes over and are in charge of delivering injured people to a hospital.