The Twin Cities Metropolitan Area is one of seven communities receiving recognition from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's TIIDE (Terrorism Injuries: Information, Dissemination and Exchange) program as a model of how emergency medical services can work with other safety and public health agencies in times of disaster. The seven-county Twin Cities region is represented by 9 local public health agencies, 29 EMS agencies, numerous public safety agencies and 29 hospitals in the Metro Region Hospital Compact.
During a crisis, hospitals, emergency medical services, and public safety play a vital role on the front lines of emergency medical care. The role of public health is also critical and the model community program is one way to identify communities where there are strong public health and medical partnerships working together to plan for and respond to large-scale crisis. The Twin Cities metro area public health, public safety and hospital systems have worked together to establish, exercise, and maintain model emergency readiness practices.
In addition to the Minneapolis/St. Paul area, Orlando, Florida; Indiana County, Pennsylvania; Aurora, Colorado; Danbury, Connecticut; Southern New Jersey and Kalamazoo, Michigan were also selected as 2008 Model Communities.
The Twin Cities area was selected because it has established emergency care community and public health partnerships and coordination mechanisms which are tested through drills and exercises. Through this process, each community demonstrates their capabilities to respond to potentially large-scale emergencies that may be terrorist-related or natural disasters that could cause a large numbers of injuries.
The application for TIIDE recognition was submitted by Mark Lappe, Chair of the Metro Regional Hospital Compact, who is also the Administrative Manager of the Healthcare Preparedness Program, a grant funded program through the Minnesota Department of Health -- Office of Emergency Preparedness.
"This recognition means that our work will serve as an example to other communities in Minnesota and the U.S., and I am very pleased to receive this award on behalf of all of those health and safety professionals who work hard every day to make Minneapolis and St. Paul safe and prepared," said Lappe. "We are very proud of what our region has accomplished, but there is still significant work to be done. This recognition encourages us to continue to build upon our progress."
"The TIIDE project's Model Communities initiative is welcome recognition that the way we've been preparing for disasters makes sense, and that we are making good progress," said Hennepin County Medical Center emergency physician John Hick, MD, Medical Director of the Minnesota Department of Health's Office of Emergency Preparedness.
"We've learned, with natural disasters in this country and recent bombings abroad, as well as local emergency situations like the I 35W bridge collapse, that organizations and communities have to work collaboratively to meet the needs of the community during a disaster. We are very fortunate to have partners in the metropolitan area that feel the same way and have greatly enhanced our ability to respond together, rather than as individual entities or agencies."
The TIIDE project was developed through a collaborative agreement with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For more information on Model Communities and the TIIDE project, go to www.bt.cdc.gov/masscasualties/modelcommunities.asp. Information about mass casualty preparedness and response can be found at www.bt.cdc.gov/masscasualties. To learn more about CDC's work in injury and violence prevention, go to www.cdc.gov/injury.