WATERFORD — Physician assistant Anthony Simpson, of Waterford, recently deployed to Washington, D.C., to provide medical support during the National Peace Officers Memorial Service on Wednesday, May 15, according to a press release by the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services.

Simpson serves as a member of the National Disaster Medical System’s (NDMS) Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT).

During the memorial service, NDMS personnel along with U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps (USPHS) officers stand ready to provide advanced life support and basic medical care to the thousands of people from around the nation attending the event.

NDMS is a federally administered program that can support communities with medical care, veterinarian care, and mortuary assistance during disasters or public health emergencies. They also work behind the scenes at some of the nation’s biggest events, often at the request of the Office of the Attending Physician and the U.S. Capitol Police. NDMS is among the resources made available by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

“Typically at events like this we see people who are dehydrated, have minor cuts or sprains, or other non-life threatening injuries/illness,” said Helga Scharf-Bell, acting director of ASPR’s NDMS.

“However, we also can provide the initial life-saving care for more serious injuries or illnesses and stabilize a patient for transportation by DC Fire/EMS to a local hospital,” Scharf-Bell said.

NDMS teams consist of physicians, nurses, paramedics, fatality management professionals, and experienced command and control staff. There are more than 6,000 team members organized into 70 response teams. Providing medical care during emergencies and special events, such as the Peace Officers Memorial, can overwhelm local and state resources. ASPR looks to the expertise within NDMS and USPHS from across the country to assist in the response.

The Peace Officers Memorial Day is held annually on May 15, in honor of federal, state, and local officers killed or disabled in the line of duty. Each year, the Fraternal Order of Police and its auxiliary organizes the national memorial service in conjunction with Police Week. The service is followed by the placement of a memorial wreath at the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial in Washington, D.C.

As part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, ASPR’s mission is to save lives and protect Americans from 21st century health security threats. ASPR leads the nation’s medical and public health preparedness for, response to, and recovery from disasters and public health emergencies. During a special event, ASPR stands ready to serve in case of an emergency.

For information about federal medical response and NDMS, visit www.phe.gov.

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