VHA Office of Emergency Management
Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS)
The Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) is the Veterans Health Administration's main deployment program for clinical and non-clinical staff to an emergency or disaster. The DEMPS Program may be used for an internal VA mission, as well as supporting a mission after a Presidential Disaster Declaration under the National Response Frameworks Emergency Support Function #8 (Public Health and Medical Services). The DEMPS Program is made up of the following entities:
- The DEMPS Volunteers (Full-time VHA employee)
- VAMC DEMPS Coordinator
- DEMPS VAMC Facility Support Staff (Fiscal, Payroll, and Travel)
- DEMPS VISN Points of Contact
- DEMPS National Program Manager
- VHA Office of Emergency Management staff (Area Emergency Managers, and Regional Emergency Managers)
- Deputy Under Secretary for Health Operations and Management, and
- The DEMPS database
In order for DEMPS to work successfully, all 8 entities above must work together to deploy the DEMPS Volunteer to an emergency or disaster site.
The DEMPS database was developed to collect specific information on full-time VHA medical personnel (clinical and non-clinical) who have volunteered and been approved by their Medical Center Director to be deployed (full-time staff) in the event of a disaster, or to back fill a medical center.
When disasters such as hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, etc., occur and the state and local resources to handle the response/recovery process are overwhelmed, the state in which the disaster occurs may request federal assistance. In this case, a Presidential Disaster Declaration is issued and the National Response Framework (NRF) is activated. Once the damage to the area and needs have been assessed, and it is determined that medical resources are required, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) or the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) may task VA to provide these resources. Generally, these requests are for medical personnel (nurses, physicians, pharmacists, etc.), pharmaceutical (or other medical) supplies, and medical equipment. However, depending on the mission, VHA may deploy non-clinical staff to support the infrastructure of the deployment.
Regardless of your profession and skill set, your participation as a DEMPS Volunteer is appreciated by those who need your help.
Should you have any questions about DEMPS please contact your facility DEMPS Coordinator for assistance.
Program Manager Contact Information
Karen Newell, MSN, RN, CHEP
National Deployment Operations Program Officer
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