(Camden, New Jersey) South Jersey, through the N.J. Department of Health and Senior Services Medical Coordination Center Program is one of seven communities nationwide receiving recognition from the (TIIDE) Terrorism and Injuries: Information, Dissemination and Exchange partners as a model of how emergency medical services can work with other safety and public health agencies in times of disaster. The TIIDE project was developed through a collaborative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). During a crisis, local hospitals, emergency departments and first responders play a vital role on the front lines of emergency care. The role of public health is also critical and the model community program is one way to identify communities where there are strong public health and medical partnerships working together to respond to large-scale crisis.
These communities were selected because they have established emergency care community and public health partnerships which are tested through drills and exercises. Through this process, each community demonstrates they are regularly testing their capabilities to show that they could respond to potentially large-scale emergencies that may be terrorist-related or natural disasters that could cause a large number of injuries.
The seven Model Communities selected for 2008 are: Orlando, Florida; Minneapolis/St. Paul, Minnesota; Indiana County, Pennsylvania; Aurora, Colorado; Danbury, Connecticut; southern New Jersey; and Kalamazoo, Michigan.
The South Jersey Medical Coordination Centers are located at Cooper University Hospital in Camden and AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Atlantic City.
“This recognition exemplifies the collaboration among multiple entities at the local, county, and state levels to prepare for emergency public health threats effectively,” said Rick Hong, M.D., Division Head of EMS/Disaster Medicine at Cooper University Hospital. “This recognition encourages us to continue to build upon our progress as a model for best practices to other communities in the nation. We are honored to receive this award on behalf of all our health, safety, and emergency management partners who are committed to making South Jersey safe and prepared against all types of mass casualty incidents, such as those from natural disasters and terrorism.”
While South Jersey is engaged in a number of activities to respond to the health consequences of mass casualties from terrorism, the TIIDE project is a critical element to identify how community partnerships can work together.