Wednesday, March 5, 2014

FEMA training--aargh!

As part of my job with the San Mateo Medical Center (great team), I am required to have all sorts of non-dental related training.

Some of it is good (emergency codes, first responder protocols), some useful but boring (hospital safety, OSHA, sexual harassment), and some are hard to apply outside the public sector (medical billing fraud compliance remediation as a hospital.)

Recently, the whole dental team was assigned FEMA's NIMMS (national emergency medical management system) training due to a mandate by President Obama.

In short--be prepared, and don't trust your government...or at least FEMA.

In long: the NIMMS training has some good principles (watered down versions of classic military standard operations).  However, these principles are needlessly cloaked in jargon--very wordy, poorly presented jargon.  

The instruction is geared towards bureaucratic cratic self preservation and image control instead of actually helping people.  There are moderately useless diagrams that are informationally empty.  There are pointless videos.  The questions are needlessly obtuse, and test based on key words instead of true knowledge.

Base principles (I'm not making this up)
-do not skip chain of command
-do not take initiative 
+before doing anything, it must pass through at least 4 levels of bureaucracy 
+the PR guy is at top
+the logistics guy (who gets stuff done) is at bottom
+resource acquisition must go through at least 3 levels of bureaucracy--but must be sourced/funded locally--then resubmitted to regional--then state--then interstate--then FEMA--then Gov

What I'll be doing in response to training:
- get fit.
       I don't care about getting a bikini body.  Rather, I want to never need FEMA or any government "help" if possible.  Instead, I'll be a first responder.
-get reserves
      I'll be sure to keep 3 weeks supply of food/water.  At the rate FEMA works, 1 month may be better while they (request authorization to distribute.
      I already have emergency shelter/food in the car.
      Maybe I'll put together a "bug out bag"--no guns mind you--food, first aid, navigation, fire, and possibly dental related supplies for field treatment.
-get equipped
       I really want an Aseptico portable op.
I used an Aseptico taskforce portable unit in the jungles of Cambodia, and I can vouch for it's reliability, portability, and good worksmanship.
       In the event of a major emergency, I want to be there for my patients--not some career bureaucrat from FEMA
-get training
       I hope to become fluent in Cantonese and Spanish by 2015.  As of yesterday, I finally have internet.  I hope to make wise use of YouTube and various podcasts.  I see this as a matter of respect for my patients----sorry, no Arabic, Urdu, Mongolian, Russian, Farsi or Hindi is planned at the moment.
        I may look into basic field survival, foraging, bushcraft, and field medic training in the future.  I thought my friend ( and prebably the best gum surgeon IMHO in the east bay) Dr. Karl Ching was nuts for learning man-tracking and extreme wilderness survival.  Now I think he's wise...

Sheesh!  I sound like an alarmist!

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