Oregon's Level 1 Medical Disaster Team Completes Cold Weather Disaster Training in Alaska

05/12/03    Portland, Ore.

The Oregon Disaster Medical Team (ODMT) recently completed cold weather disaster medical field training in Anchorage, Alaska. Dubbed "Northern Exposure," this three-day field exercise allowed disaster medical assistance teams from Alaska, Oregon, Michigan and Washington to practice providing emergency medical care in harsh climates using specialized equipment and supplies.

"Dealing with mass casualties in cold weather presents a unique set of challenges for medical teams as well as for patients," said Helen Miller, M.D., ODMT team leader and emergency physician at Oregon Health & Science University. "In addition to treating patients' illnesses and injuries you must protect them, and yourself, from the elements."

A nonprofit organization of volunteer health care professionals statewide, ODMT provides relief medical care in the event of a disaster, natural or manmade, or public health emergency. ODMT fields the federal Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) representing Oregon in the National Disaster Medical System. It is among a select group of medical teams nationwide to be designated a Level 1 DMAT team under the Department of Homeland Security. This elite status places it among the first to be called into action in a national emergency or public health crisis. OHSU serves as an institutional co-sponsor of the team.

The Oregon, Alaska and Washington disaster medical assistance teams represent the Pacific Northwest in the National Medical Disaster System. This drill provided the first opportunity for all three teams to train together. Each of these teams responded on federal missions to serve at the ground zero/World Trade Center site in the wake of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks and also to the 2002 Winter Olympic Games.

The following 24 ODMT members participated in the Alaska drill:

Beverly Bauman, M.D., OHSU emergency medicine  Portland, Ore.
Gary Brain, E.M.T.-I  Summer Lake, Ore.
John Brandon, P.A.  Eugene, Ore.
David Cary, R.N./E.M.T.-P.  Prairie City, Ore.
Greg Close, E.M.T.-I  Irrigon, Ore.
Tom Cronin, communications  Hillsboro, Ore.
Larry Dunlap, M.D.  Eugene, Ore.
Jeff Freeman, E.M.T.  Aloha, Ore.
Colleen Grunow, R.P.H.  Brush Prairie, Wash.
Mark Johnson, E.M.T.-P.  Hermiston, Ore.
Jon Jui, M.D., emergency physician/deputy team leader/OHSU  Wilsonville, Ore.
Anita Katz, N.P./mental health/OHSU  Portland, Ore.
Peter Mackwell, E.M.T-P.  Hood River, Ore.
Susan McCray, R.N.  Springfield, Ore.
Joel McNamara, E.M.T.  Bend, Ore.
Helen Miller, M.D., team leader/OHSU pediatric emergency med.  Eugene, Ore.
Steve Myren, E.M.T.-I  Boardman, Ore.
Jeff Pricher, E.M.T.P.  Westfir, Ore.
Cheryl Thomas, E.M.T.P.  Lebanon, Ore.
Jim Thomas, E.M.T.P.  Lebanon, Ore.
Michael Troutman, E.M.T.P.  Eugene, Ore.
Charles Valencia, R.P.H.  Port Orchard, Wash.
Christie Wells, E.M.T.P.  West Linn, Ore.
Andrew Wood, E.M.T.P./OHSU transport team  McMinnville, Ore.

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