Friday, December 19, 2014

Recent tragedies provide lessons for July 16-17 disaster preparedness meeting

Frontline responders from around the world will benefit from lessons learned during the recent Boston Marathon tragedy and North Korean nuclear threat at the National Disaster Life Support Annual Meeting July 16-17 in Atlanta.

Image used under Creative Commons from Vjeran Pavic

Image used under Creative Commons from Vjeran Pavic

The Medical College of Georgia at Georgia Regents University and the nonprofit National Disaster Life Support Foundation Inc., based in Augusta, are cosponsors of the meeting at the Atlanta Airport Marriott Gateway.

Responders such as firefighters, physicians, paramedics, social workers and military personnel, will learn more about optimal response to manmade and natural disasters.  To date, participants from five countries will meet in Atlanta and participants from 12 countries will participate via webstream.

“We have an incredible lineup of providers who want to help their colleagues around the globe by sharing lessons learned in handling some of our worst tragedies and near-tragedies,” said Dr. Phillip Coule, Vice Chairman for Business Development of the MCG Department of Emergency Medicine and Chairman of the Board of Directors of the NDLS Foundation.

Highlights include:

July 16, 1:15 p.m. – Dr. Cham Dallas, Director of the Institute for Health Management and Mass Destruction Defense at the University of Georgia, and Dr. Sang Do Shin, Director of the Emergency Medical Services Division of Seoul National University, Medical Director of Seoul Metropolitan City Fire Department, and a Visiting Scholar in the Emory University Department of Epidemiology, will discuss Trauma, Thermal Burn, and Radiation Casualty Distribution that could result from a nuclear attack originating from North Korea.

July 16, 4 p.m. – Joseph E. Palfini, Manager of Emergency Operations for the Southwest Texas Regional Advisory Council in San Antonio, will discuss the response to the fertilizer plant explosion in West, Texas in April that killed 15 people and caused a $100 million in property damage.

July 17, 9:45 a.m. and 10:30 a.m. – Three emergency medicine physicians share their experiences in the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing. Participants include Dr. Paul D. Biddinger, Chief of the Division of Emergency Preparedness, Massachusetts General Hospital; Dr. Christina Hernon, Assistant Professor, University of Massachusetts Medical School: and Dr. Mary-Elise Manuell, Director of the Center of Excellence for Emergency Preparedness Education and Training, University of Massachusetts Medical School. A panel discussion follows.

The National Disaster Life Support Foundation, Inc. oversees a series of educational programs that better prepare health care professionals and emergency response personnel for mass casualty events. Courses are comprehensive, all-hazards, and multi-disciplinary and were developed by MCG, the University of Georgia, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas, and Texas A&M School of Public Health.

For more information, visit  or call the NDLS Foundation at 706-721-0969.

To register for live streaming, visit The live webstream will be made available at

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