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Federal disaster response exercise to take place at Denver International Airport 
By U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs 
Veterans Affairs Logo 
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Monday, May 7, 2012

CONTACT:
Jordan Schupbach
Office of Public Affairs
jordan.schupbach@va.gov
Office: 303-393-5205
Mobile: 720-238-7795 

DENVER (5/7/12)  On Wednesday, May 16, at 8 a.m. the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Eastern Colorado Health Care System and community partners will conduct a full-scale Federal Coordinating Center exercise at the Signature Flight Support Hangar, Denver International Airport, 7850 Harry B. Combs Parkway in Denver. 

“This exercise is an example of local, regional and federal efforts to promote a unified response to large scale incidents. Our objectives include enhancing capacity, building sustainment and creating surge for receiving medical facilities,” said Roger Rewerts, FCC coordinator. 

The exercise is a major test of the National Disaster Medical System and will triage, treat and transport more than 200 patients to 11 metro-area hospitals via 10 ground ambulances and 10 helicopters in less than six hours. The Colorado National Guard will participate by transporting patients in UH-60 Blackhawk and UH-72 Lakota helicopters.

"This is a mission our air crews have proven under fire," said Adjutant General of Colorado, Maj. Gen. H. Michael Edwards. "These air crews have performed medical evacuation missions in combat zones and I have complete confidence in their ability to support our citizens during times of disaster." 

The exercise will include the set up and operation of the FCC Command Center, simulated aircraft arrival of more than 200 patients, medical triage of patients and the aircraft and ambulance evacuation of the patients from DIA to local area medical facilities. In total, an estimated 500 individuals from 20 community agencies will participate in the exercise. 

An FCC is managed by the Department of Homeland Security NDMS and may be activated in times of federally declared national or international emergencies to coordinate definitive medical care of evacuees from the emergency area to the FCC's assigned area. The Denver VA Medical Center FCC, as part of that system, could potentially receive and process hundreds of patients from anywhere in the world. The NDMS solicits and organizes community support services, enrolls non-federal local hospitals and coordinates community hospital bed availability. 

Find more information about this event at: http://www.phe.gov/preparedness/responders/ndms/Pages/default.aspx 

FOR ASSIGNMENT EDITORS: Media representatives are welcome to attend but must be credentialed in advance.

Please contact Jordan Schupbach at jordan.schupbach@va.gov or 303-393-5205. 

This event will include the processing of more than 200 patients and on a highly-active flight line with helicopters lifting and landing in a fast-paced environment. Opportunities for visuals and storylines will be abundant. Special opportunities include:

Colorado National Guard Blackhawk and Lakota helicopters equipped for patient evacuation will arrive and depart, and will be available for interior shots.

A media ride-along helicopter will be available for video and photography of the exercise from above including over the city and over area hospitals. Limited space is available.

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5/7/2012