Field Exercises and Community Service
Healthcare Emergency Managers work to meet the public health and medical needs of those affected by crises and disasters and resolve the impacts that they impose. Crises are defined as significant natural disasters or man-made events that overwhelm an affected region and necessitate both Federal public health and medical care assistance. In a crisis, hospitals, nursing homes, ambulatory care centers, pharmacies and other facilities for medical/health care and special needs populations may be severely structurally damaged or destroyed at worst or simply overwhelmed by volume at best.
The Healthcare Emergency Management Program coordinates opportunities for field-based student activities in the community to investigate:
- How and why specific public health and medical emergency preparedness protocols are developed
- The identification of current threats and vulnerabilities
- The analysis of strengths and weaknesses in public health and healthcare infrastructure
- The development and execution of real-world simulations and exercise drills
The faculty and students from the Healthcare Emergency Management Program have participated in a variety of exercises and drills both locally and nationally. Explore the exercises to see the types of experiences our students are able to build upon.
Previous Community Service Field Exercises
2019 Simon Chernack Conference at Boston University
Boston University Healthcare Emergency Management Program provided a tabletop exercise as part of the 4th Annual Simon A. Chernack Conference. The tabletop exercise involved Medical Ethics position viability in the Hospital Incident Command System. The exercise was attended by over 50 participants including Boston Medical Center, Beth Israel Deaconess Boston, Novartis, Boston EMS, NBC 10 Boston, Massachusetts General Hospital and State Street Corporation.
2018 - Harrington Hospital Hazardous Materials Exercise
BU HEM and Harrington Hospital (Southbridge MA) participated in a tabletop exercise involving Hazardous Materials as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Performance Grant (HMPG) initiatives. The exercise simulated a hazardous materials event at the hospital that required decontamination of incoming patients. BU HEM students provided HSEEP exercise support and evaluation services for the hospital.
2018 - City of Worcester Hazardous Materials Exercise
BU HEM and City of Worcester (MA) participated in a functional exercise involving Hazardous Materials as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Performance Grant (HMPG) initiatives. The exercise simulated a train derailment that required decontamination at St.Vincent’s Hospital. Worcester Fire and Police assisted with decontamination including the decontamination of a K-9 response dog. BU HEM students provided HSEEP exercise support and evaluation services as well advisory and role player services for the exercise.
2017 - Worcester Public Schools – ASHER Exercise
BU HEM and Worcester Public Schools partnered for an Active Shooter – Hostile Event Response Exercise. The exercise enabled the City to work through current ASHER plans and BU HEM students provided HSEEP exercise support and evaluation services.
2017 - Town of Hanover Hazardous Materials Exercise
BU HEM and Town of Hanover (MA) participated in a tabletop exercise involving Hazardous Materials as part of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Hazardous Materials Performance Grant (HMPG) initiatives. The exercise simulated a radiological event at the Town transfer station to required response and continuity of operations components including how to manage trash collection for a 30-day period post incident. BU HEM students provided HSEEP exercise support and evaluation services.
2017 - City of Holyoke Mass Casualty Exercise
BU HEM and City of Holyoke (MA) participated in a tabletop exercise involving a mass casualty AMTRAK train derailment at the Holyoke Transportation Center. BU HEM students provided HSEEP exercise support and evaluation services for the City as well as role players for victims to test the hospital and AMTRAK reunification services.
Operation Healing Hands
On January 17, 2014, Boston University HEM, Howard University Medical School and the Uniformed Services University participated in Operation Healing Hands at the offices of the National Center for Disaster Medicine and Public Health.
The exercise tested the Domestic Disaster Response operations knowledge of a group of Military medical professionals who are obtaining their Master in Public Health Degree at Uniformed Services University. The participants were required to open a shelter in the District of Columbia after a terrible Hurricane and provide initial shelter support as requested by the Department of Defense. The participants were also trained of the importance of Cultural Competence in Disasters by Howard University Professor Dr. Goulda Downer. The participants then took that knowledge and applied it to the real world role player who provided realism as a shelter attendee with multiple medical issues.
Operation Healing Hands will be replicated in the Community Health Course as part of of BU HEM.
On November 20, 2013, HEM Students Jon Hartenbaum, Kevin Wickersham, Clifford Kitto and Sean Fay participated in Operation Laser, a series of exercises in support of the North Attleboro School and Public Safety Departments and the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA). The HEM students were role players in several active shooter rotations that tested the response skills of the local responders. Nice job by all HEM students who attended.
On November 13, 2013, BU HEM students participated in Operation FATPOT. The students tested a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) software for the Metro Boston Homeland Security UASI region. Students tracked police, fire and EMS calls in real time from the Boston University Medical Campus. Responses to calls were plotted on a map and then the real time dispatch data was verified with the BU Police Department. This is Phase I of multiple exercises using the FATPOT software. See the FATPOT website for more information at www.fatpot.com.
Operation Mercy Lift
On June 11, 2013, Massachusetts Army National Guard, Sandwich and Dennis Fire Departments, Massachusetts Department of Public Health and Boston University Healthcare Emergency Management participated in Part II of Operation Mercy Lift project. This session was a functional training activity to prepare for Operation Mercy Lift 2.0 in 2014 in which air evacuation assets will be flown to Nantucket Island as part of a Mass Casualty Response. BU HEM Associate Director J.J. Burke is Project Manager and Exercise Director for the project.
Operation Mercy Lift 2.0
9/16 – As, the second part of the planning for Operation Mercy Lift, Boston University HEM, Sandwich Fire Department and Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency officials participated in Operation Mercy Lift 2.0 at the MEMA bunker in Fraimingham, MA. The “game” was used to discuss medical evacuation assets to evacuate Nantucket Island for a Level 3 Mass Casualty Incident. Participating in the discussion was the Massachusetts State Police Air Wing, Logan Massport, Department of Public Health, MEMA, Boston Med Flight and the Barnstable County REPC. This discussion is a part of the process leading up to a functional exercise scheduled for June 2014.
Operation Chelsea Recovers
On October 7, 2013 BU HEM and the City of Chelsea partnered on Operation Chelsea Recovers tabletop exercise. The exercise was hosted by the Residence Inn by Marriot and tested the city’s response to a F1 tornadic event 48 hrs. after touchdown.
The City tested its recovery plan and included several private sector partners in the exercise. BU HEM student Kevin Wickersham was the Donations Management Officer. BU HEM students collected donation requests from the private sector participants and compiled all data into a live Google doc spreadsheet. The City leaders discussed alternate EOC and housing strategies for displaced residents.
Spaulding Hospitals – Aurora’s Legacy
Operation Aurora’s Legacy Spaulding Cambridge
On September 17, 2013 BU HEM and Spaulding Hospital Cambridge participated in an active shooter tabletop exercise at the Spaulding Cambridge campus.The exercise discussed what the hospital would do during an active shooter incident. Cambridge Police, Cambridge Hospital and other support services participated in the activity. Overall there were 42 people who participated in the activity.
Operation Aurora’s Legacy Spaulding North Shore
On October 7, 2013 BU HEM and Spaulding Hospital North Shore in Salem, MA participated in BU HEM’s Aurora Legacy Active Shooter exercise. This was a “hybrid” TTX that involved response capability planning as well as functional activities allowing employees to seek out “safe” areas in the hospital and test security and access procedures. This is the third Spaulding facility to participate in the Aurora’s Legacy program.