National Emergency Management Services Capabilities & Capacity Study

NCDMPH,  NDMS Pilot Program, EMS Landscape Analysis body img

In the event of a large-scale combat operation (LSCO), U.S. combat casualties are anticipated to exceed the capacity of the Military Health System and the Department of Veterans Affairs healthcare facilities, triggering a full-scale activation of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) and the use of civilian healthcare facilities. Surge capacity is critical for not only the healthcare facilities but also emergency medical services, which will likely be called upon to assist with “last-mile” patient movement and distribution across the nation. Although the National Medical Transport and Support Services (NMTS) contract managed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is often cited as a solution for meeting patient movement needs during a LSCO-driven NDMS activation, the scale and scope differs from past natural disaster activations and may not be sufficient to meeting the needs of a LSCO.

The National Center and its partners in the NDMS Pilot Program are collaborating with FEMA and the U.S. Department of Transportation to conduct a national level analysis of federal-level EMS capabilities to support the NDMS during a full-scale activation for an overseas LSCO, with a focus on vehicles, staff, distribution, training, and equipment. This analysis will also include an assessment of the FEMA NMTS capabilities and capacity to support an NDMS activation during a LSCO. This study will identify key gaps in support capabilities and planning assumptions across federal stakeholders, prompting the need for novel solutions and implementation approaches.