Center for Disaster Medicine Receives Funding and Expands Training Programs
The New York Medical College (NYMC) Center for Disaster Medicine, the New York State Center of Excellence in Precision Responses to Bioterrorism and Disasters, received $925,000 from New York State, a major increase in funding for a vitally needed program.
New York State increased its financial support for the Center from an initial annual pledge of $500,000 to $925,000, a sum that is matched by NYMC in support of the expanding work and impact of the Center.
The Center, the first of its kind in New York and a unique civilian resource nationally, provides training for mass casualty incidents, natural disaster events and terrorism situations.
“This vital facility is the only facility of its kind in the state, teaching mass casualty medicine and response. This grant is an investment—an investment in public safety, an investment in jobs, an investment economic multiplier and an investment tin Westchester County,” said New York State Senator Peter Harckham. “The issues related to disaster preparedness are not going away and we do need to be prepared.
This increased financial support allows NYMC to expand the training programs for hospitals, health systems, law enforcement and first responders throughout New York State. In March, the Center for Disaster Medicine conducted its inaugural Tactical Emergency Casualty Care (TECC) Course to teach EMS practitioners and other responders how to respond to and care for patients in a civilian tactical environment and decrease preventable deaths in a tactical situation.
George W. Contreras, M.E.P., M.P.H., M.S., CEM, EMTP, assistant director of the Center for Disaster Medicine and assistant professor in the School of Health Sciences Institute of Public Health, and two New York City Police Department instructors led the instruction for a multidisciplinary group including members of the Westchester County Police, Ossining Volunteer Ambulance Corps and the New York City Paramedic Program and the Westchester County Department of Health Commissioner, Sherlita Amler, M.D., M.S., who is adjunct professor in the School of Health Sciences and Practice and a senior fellow in the Center for Disaster Medicine.
"Having participants from different fields adds tremendous value to the training experience because it allows responders to see how other people function. It fosters collaboration with more understanding and respect for each other," said Mr. Contreras. The 16-hour classroom course covers hemorrhage control, surgical airway control and needle decompression, strategies for treating wounded responders in threatening environments, caring for pediatric patients and techniques for dragging and carrying victims to safety.