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National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Exercise


June 2, 2023

Cahokia , IL — National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) Exercise to be held at St. Louis Downtown Airport - Cahokia, Illinois, June 7, 2023

Media are asked to alert the public of this upcoming joint exercise.

WHAT:  A simulated natural disaster involving mass casualties will test the area's readiness and response in the event of an activation of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). Clinicians will triage mock patients and load them into ambulances to be taken to area hospitals.

WHO:  VA St Louis Health Care System, St Louis Area Partner Hospitals, St. Clair County, and Madison County Illinois agencies.

WHEN:  Wednesday, June 7, 2023, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. We expect a simulated plane to land between 11:00 am – 12:30 pm.

WHERE:  St Louis Downtown Airport 6100 Archview Dr. Cahokia, Illinois 62206

VA St. Louis Health Care System serves as the lead agency for National Disaster Medical System’s (NDMS) St. Louis Federal Coordination Center. It is one of 54 VA federal coordinating centers around the country ready to spring into action in case of a national disaster.

While caring for our nation’s Veterans is our number one mission, the VA is also capable of supporting the nation’s preparedness for responses to war, terrorism, national emergencies, and natural disasters. “This exercise gives us the opportunity to work with our community partners and to train so when we have a real-life event, we’re prepared and we’re ready,” said Candace Ifabiyi, CEO and Director, VA St. Louis Health Care System.

This exercise will evaluate and refine the operational plan for area agencies activated in the event of a natural disaster, including the Federal Coordinating Center role. Media will have an opportunity to record the exercise and interview subject matter experts from the responding agencies.

NDMS is the national system used to assist citizens in time of disaster. The system is run by the Department of Health and Human Services and relies on the Veterans Health Administration and other federal agencies, to provide support in time of need. VA's responsibility locally is to coordinate the federal and local disaster response should St. Louis receive disaster victims evacuated from an affected area.

Media contacts

Mary-Dale Amison, Public Affairs Specialist