Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness

In response to events following September 11, 2001, and in accordance with the development of the federal Department of Homeland Security, the State of Connecticut developed an aggressive and nationally recognized disaster preparedness program.

Hartford Hospital was designated a Center of Excellence for Bioterrorism and Emergency Preparedness by the Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH), for regions of the State identified by the Connecticut Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security (DEMHS) as Regions 3 and 4, bringing together resources for a response to mass casualty events, including natural disasters as well as acts of chemical, biological, radiological nuclear and explosive terrorism.

Hospital Bed Surge Capacity

Hartford Hospital remains committed to the development of protocols, procedures, and innovations that will allow hospitals throughout the state to maximize bed capacity in the event of a mass casualty incident. Bed availability is reported to DPH twice daily by each of the 32 Connecticut acute care hospitals via the Bioterrorism Web Application, maintained here at Hartford Hospital. Global information software and hospital databases are strategically linked, allowing for timely and accurate bed availability reports.

Pharmaceutical Caches

Hartford Hospital has established a targeted pharmaceutical inventory and dispensing plan to meet the prophylaxis needs of hospital employees. The hospital also serves as a custodial agency for the Center for Disease Control’s “Chempack” regional pharmaceutical stockpile for nerve agent antidotes.

Education and Preparedness Training

To align itself with the National Incident Management System (NIMS) compliance mandate for all acute care hospitals, Hartford Hospital utilizes the Incident Command System curriculum designed by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and tailored to the hospital and healthcare arenas. As part of the Center’s educational offerings, staff continues to provide Hospital Incident Command Training (HICS) training and full-scale as well as tabletop exercises for hospital partners.

The CEMP, in conjunction with Hartford Hospital’s Center for Education, Simulation & Innovation (CESI), participates in a project to utilize the resources of the simulation center and incorporate bioterrorism scenarios as part of staff training and education. With the assistance of the hospital’s trauma fellows, the Center has formulated multiple scenarios that deal with chemical, biological, radioactive, nuclear, and explosive (CBRNE) agents. Training scenarios also incorporate the use of Powered Air-Purifying Respirators and Level “C” personal protective equipment in order to exact competency-based outcomes.

Regional Planning

Hartford Hospital is a major contributor to the development of regional planning initiatives in DEMHS Regions 3 and 4 as leading partner in the Regional Emergency Support Function (ESF) 8 – Hospitals and Healthcare systems. The CEMP additionally assists the Department of Infectious Diseases with Pandemic Influenza planning for employees and patients, and continues to serve as a resource for all-hazards disaster training and planning for the healthcare community and for the State of Connecticut. The CEMP is funded by the Connecticut Department of Public Health via the US Department of Health and Human Services Hospital Preparedness Program.

Additional Resources:

Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)
Department of Emergency Management & Homeland Security (DEMHS)
Capitol Region Council of Governments (CREPC)

Also in this Section:

Ready Campaign

Emergencies ranging from health epidemics like the H1N1 flu to extreme weather like tornadoes or hurricanes can hit at a moment's notice. FEMA's Ready Campaign is asking Americans to think about the importance of having emergency preparedness plans for their families, businesses, and communities, and how prepared they are for anything from thunderstorms to terrorist attacks.

Center for Emergency Medical Preparedness