A registered nurse from Chattanooga, Robert Scarlatti, deployed to Washington, D.C., to provide medical support during the “Salute to America” Independence Day Celebration on Thursday. Mr. Scarlatti serves as a member of the National Disaster Medical System’s (NDMS
) Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).
During the July 4 observance in the nation’s capital, NDMS personnel along with U.S.
Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) officers stand ready to provide advanced life support and basic medical care to the thousands of people from around the nation attending the event.
NDMS is a federally administered program that can support communities with medical care, veterinarian care, and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies. They also work behind the scenes at some of our nation’s biggest events, often at the request of the Office of the Attending Physician and the U.S. Capitol Police. NDMS is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).
“Typically at a summer event like this we see people who are suffering from dehydration or a heat-related illness or from a non-life threatening injury/illness,” said Helga Scharf-Bell, acting director of ASPR’s NDMS. “However, we also can provide the initial life-saving care for more serious injuries or illnesses and stabilize a patient for transportation by DC Fire/EMS to a local hospital.
DMATs consist of physicians, nurses, paramedics, pharmacists, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff. When they aren’t deployed, these people are the medical and support professionals in whom we entrust our health on a day-to-day basis.
Independence Day is the largest holiday celebration in the nation’s capital, attracting hundreds of thousands of people.Providing medical care during special events, such as the July 4 celebration, can overwhelm local and state resources. ASPR looks to the expertise within NDMS and USPHS from across the country to assist in the response.
As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. During a special event, ASPR stands ready to serve in case of an emergency. For more information about federal medical response and NDMS, visit www.phe.gov