Timothy Waterhouse, a registered nurse/paramedic from Wellington, recently returned home from Washington, D.C., after providing medical support during the State of the Union Address on Feb. 4.
Waterhouse serves as a member of the National Disaster Medical System’s (NDMS) Disaster Medical Assistance Team. During events such as the State of the Union, NDMS personnel, along with U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps officers, stand ready to provide advanced life support and basic medical care to everyone attending the event.
NDMS is a federally administered program that can support communities with medical care, veterinarian care and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies. NDMS is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). They also work behind the scenes at some of the nation’s biggest events, often at the request of the Congressional Office of the Attending Physician, the U.S. Capitol Police or the U.S. Secret Service.
“Typically, at events like this, we see people who have minor cuts or sprains or other non-life-threatening injuries or illnesses,” explained Dr. Helga Scharf-Bell, NDMS acting director. “However, we also can provide initial lifesaving care for more serious injuries or illnesses and stabilize patients for transportation to a local hospital.”
NDMS comprises approximately 5,000 physicians, nurses, veterinary staff, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff. For more information about federal medical response and NDMS, visit www.phe.gov.