Online Program

Training to enhance the interface between military and civilian responders in large scale disasters

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Marian Levy, DrPH, RD, FAND, Division of Social and Behavioral Sciences, University of Memphis School of Public Health, Memphis, TN
Robert Koch, DNSc, RN, Loewenberg School of Nursing, University of Memphis, Memphis, TN
Background/Purpose. A training system was developed to enhance the interface of civilian health care and emergency responders with military operations for emergency response in large-scale catastrophes requiring aeromedical evacuation. Prior triangulated research (expert panel, focus groups, web-based surveys) indicated key training needs involved communication, chain of command in disasters, and logistics of working with military personnel. Interactive exercises with simulated conditions were preferred. Methods. An experiential 1.5 day training program was tested with 184 civilian nursing, allied health, public health, and emergency responders. Scenarios involved communication, medical triage, and patient evacuation/transfer protocols in traditional classroom-based instruction, virtual instruction, and real-life simulations of disaster environments. Evaluation included self-reported assessments and objective monitoring of program-appropriate behaviors during simulations. Videographers recorded participant actions in hand-offs of patients to vehicle contacts at fixed wing or rotor wing aircraft. Evaluators coded participant behaviors, using a checklist-style observation instrument. Inter-rater reliability measured Kappa = 0.79 (p <.0.001), 95% CI (0.697, 0.883). Results/Outcomes. Trainers used at least one military acronym or piece of jargon in 35.2% of all observations, and participants responded appropriately with either a correct identification of or a request for clarification of the acronym or piece of jargon in 77.4% of the observations. Participants reported enhanced familiarity with military acronyms, patient tracking, and logistics. Over 85% of 173 respondents indicated the course helped them become efficient when interfacing with military personnel. Conclusions. Enhancing communication and familiarity with military culture supports public health's ability to coordinate medical response as part of Emergency Support Function (ESF)-8.

Learning Areas:

Administer health education strategies, interventions and programs
Administration, management, leadership
Conduct evaluation related to programs, research, and other areas of practice
Planning of health education strategies, interventions, and programs
Public health or related organizational policy, standards, or other guidelines

Learning Objectives:
Describe training needs to support emergency response in large scale catastrophes requiring aeromedical evacuation Discuss training formats to support familiarity with military culture

Keyword(s): Disasters, Training

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the co-principal investigator on a large federally funded grant to identify training needs to ensure that civilian responders can interface effectively with military operations in response to large-scale disasters. Funding is from the U.S. Department of Defense.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.