Tuesday, August 30, 2011


No flights so far this shift (24 hours on our Angel 2 helicopter in Kingman) ... but I did finish nine hours of online FEMA classes today.

I've been wanting for awhile now to start doing some kind of volunteer work again.  At different times I've recorded books for the blind, taught CPR classes, been a Kiwanis Club member, and served on the board of an organization helping victims of sexual assaults, among other things -- but it's been several years since I've done any volunteering except at work.  I decided a few months back that using my medical skills and experience to help people in disaster situations would be a good way to do that.

As part of my application to join the Arizona Disaster Medical Assistance Team (AZ1 DMAT), part of the National Disaster Medical System (volunteer medical and support personnel who also become part of the U.S. uniformed services when activated by the federal government), I needed to complete 12 hours of online courses on the Incident Command System (ICS), National Incident Management System (NIMS), and the National Response Framework (NRF).  I'd completed the first three-hour course last shift; today I finished the other three.

For the most part, it was just as mind-numbing as it sounds:  Lots of overlap between the four courses, and lots and lots and lots of bureaucratic-speak, buzzwords and acronyms.

But the system, if it works like it's supposed to, actually sounds pretty good ...

Besides all the terminology and theory, there were some interesting lessons learned from 9/11, Katrina, and other major incidents ... as well as some genuinely scary scenarios that form the current basis for U.S. emergency planning.

I'd better sign off and see if I can get some sleep.  Eight hours left of this shift, then a two-hour drive back to Flag.

Love and hugs, everybody.  Good night.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Dan,

    Mike McComb here. Just joined your blog. Good to hear updates on "Vanished". Hope to read it soon.