Basic Disaster Life Support – December 11, 2017

Join the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance in partnership with Carilion Franklin Memorial Hospital for BDLS.

BDLS® is targeted to multiple disciplines including: emergency medical service (EMS) personnel, hazardous materials personnel, public safety and public health personnel, and healthcare providers. By teaching multiple disciplines simultaneously, a commonality of approach and language will develop, improving the care and coordination of response to WMD disaster and public health emergencies.


Disaster Recovery Workshop – November 30, 2017

Please join the Virginia Department of Emergency Management and the Near Southwest Preparedness Alliance on November 30th to learn about the long term recovery process as it relates to the healthcare infrastructure in Southwest Virginia. We will discuss local, state, and federal disaster declaration processes, public assistance eligibility, as well as recovery assistance for non-federal disasters and other key topics relating recovering the healthcare sector following a major disaster.  This workshop will be hosted at The Roanoke Higher Education Center from 9:00 am - 3:30 pm.

Register Here


Leveraging Close-calls to Improve your Emergency Management Program

The nature of the preparedness world is one of close-calls, near-misses, fits, starts, and direct hits.

Fortunately for all involved, we are not directly impacted by every threat that is forecast to come our way.

Still, a comprehensive and forward-thinking emergency management program will not let a potential crisis go to waste. 

Here are just a few actions your organization can take to improve your preparedness program without suffering the negative impacts of lessons learned through failure: 

  1. Play the “What If?” game. If your organization has put considerable effort into preparing for a forecasted event (maybe severe weather, maybe civil unrest from a mass gathering, etc), make that effort worthwhile by setting aside some time in the days following to ask, “What if?”. Bring your emergency operations team together for a brief table-top discussion to think through how the incident would have impacted your facility had it occurred. Think of it like putting the finishing touches on your preparedness discussions.  If, for example, a severe weather event misses your area but impacts another, use the data from the incident (number of utility customers without power, amount of destruction, impact to traffic, public works, public safety, etc.) experienced by your neighbors to make your “What if?” discussions more realistic and impactful.

  2. Learn from the success (and failure) of others. One of the greatest aspects of the Emergency Management community is the willingness of those who have learned lessons to share. Take advantage of this by seeking out the decision-makers involved in both successful and unsuccessful responses and picking their brains. Request any After Action Reports that were compiled by facilities, localities, or other agencies and review them for lessons that may apply to your organization. Finally, do not hesitate to reach out to the individuals involved and ask them to speak – either by phone, or in person – to your planning team. Very often, these professionals will come to tell their story without compensation other than travel costs.

  3. Document your work. Even if you don’t have follow-up conversations or seek out lessons learned, make sure you document the efforts you do undertake. Documentation such as attendance lists for preparedness meetings, After Action Reports for any Command Team activations, or outlines of conversations had in the run-up or aftermath of the planning effort can all be invaluable additions to your emergency operations plan. All of this documentation not only makes your emergency management program stronger, it is an impressive demonstration when a surveyor asks to see evidence of your program.

Now it’s your turn! Do you have additional items for this list? Email them to and we may feature them in a future post.

March 23rd Coalition Meeting

Join us on March 23rd for an engaging presentation regarding initial EMS response (MCI), mass fatality response, mental health coordination, mental health crisis response, and Family Reception and Assistance Center coordination.  This presentation will be hosted at Virginia Western Community College from 1:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.

Register Here



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Call for Virginia Preparedness Academy Session Applications

The following is from an email for immediate distribution from Betsy Marchant, VDH:

This year’s Academy Planning Committee invites public health, healthcare, and emergency management professionals to showcase and share their best practice models, tools, or other resources that advance the field of public health preparedness. 

 Academy session application process

  1. Submit application via the form at by April 10, 2015.
  2. Academy Planning Committee members will review all submissions.  
  3. Notification of acceptance or rejection is expected to occur by April 24, 2015. 
  4. All presenting authors must register for and attend the Academy.
  5. Presentations will occur on afternoon of May 18, 2015. The presentation length will be 15 minutes followed by 5 minutes of audience questions. 

Review Criteria

Submissions will be evaluated on the following criteria:

  1. Addresses one of the overlapping PHEP/HPP capabilities (Preparedness, Recovery, Emergency Operations, Fatality Management, Information Sharing, Medical Surge, Responder Safety and Health, Volunteer Coordination)
  2. Applicability to target audience
  3. Originality and contribution of presentation content to public health and healthcare preparedness 

Registration and Hotel Information

Registration is available on TRAIN Virginia at course id 1055964. Hotel information is available at  We will use this website to post the most up to date information (agenda, etc.) so please bookmark it to check back! 

Advanced Burn Life Support a Big Success!

Advanced Burn Life Support Class Well-Received

On March 13th, 2015, Carilion-New River Valley Medical Center hosted NSPA’s first of two Advanced Burn Life Support (ABLS) Courses scheduled for the Region.  42 participants attended from over a dozen member organizations.  This American Burn Association (ABA) course was taught by a team of ABA-certified instructors, facilitated by the UNC School of Medicine-Burn Division.  The training was both lecture-based and hands-on and included topics on airway management, smoke inhalation injuries,  burn wound management, shock and fluid resuscitation, transfer and transport, chemical injuries, pediatric burn injuries, electrical injuries, and other related material.  A special thank you to Trauma Services with C-NRVMC for providing lunch for all participants in the course.

NSPA’s second Advanced Burn Life Support  (ABLS) class offering will be held at Centra Lynchburg General Hospital on June 5th.   The registration process will again, be structured to allow for member agencies to fill their designated number of slots first, prior to the course being open to other enrollment.  Full registration details will be announced soon.  Stay tuned!


March 19th Coalition Meeting

The March 19th NSPA coalition meeting will focus on patient tracking - what it is, why it's helpful, and how it works in VHASS.  This meeting will be in preparation for two upcoming table-top activities.  One will be an internal exercise at the April 2nd Regional Workshop and the other will be at the April 16th coalition meeting in conjunction with a table top exercise being held in Patrick County.

This meeting will include general patient tracking information as well as some scenario based examples.  It should be well worth your time!

BONUS: I have spoken with Kevin Rose from the San Mateo County Emergency Management Office.  They were in charge when Asiana Air Flight 241 crashed on the runway at San Francisco International Airport.  181 patients were transported by EMS from that scene and patient tracking was used.  Kevin has given me a lot of information and hopes to be available to call in to our meeting and share his story from that day.

Here is the call-in information for the meeting - if possible, utilize the WebEx online platform - you don't want to miss the slide presentation!

Meeting Date: March 19th
Meeting Time: 2:00 p.m.
Meeting Location: Carilion Roanoke Rehab Auditorium, 2017 South Jefferson St, Roanoke
Meeting URL: (This link should take you direct to meeting)
Meeting Number: 737 973 207
Meeting Password: mtg031915