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Commander's Corner

David Lipin - Unit Commander

Hello everyone. August is upon us. We're quickly approaching the peak of hurricane season and our on-call month of September, and off to one of the earliest and most active Atlantic storm seasons on record. It started back in April with Arlene, Bret and Cindy, well before the usual seasonal start in June. As a result, the forecasters have upgraded their forecast to include 8 tropical storms and 6 hurricanes (including 3 Category 3+ storms); this is a significant increase from initial forecasts of 7 tropical storms and 4 hurricanes. If you haven't signed up for September on-call yet, we can really use your help!

NDMS Restructuring

HQ has informed us of their plans to post Administrative Specialist and Medical Officer (i.e., Staff Physician) openings on the USAJobs website towards the middle of this month. These are all-inclusive postings, meant to fill open positions as well as to have existing personnel re-apply for the higher GS positions -- which most all of our team physicians need to plan on doing. So get yourself ready by creating a profile on the USA Jobs website, uploading a copy of your resume/cv and medical school transcript and diploma (for physicians), and setting up a daily search on the keyword "NDMS" so that you'll be informed as soon as these postings become available. CA-6 has openings for one Administratitive Specialist (open to any qualified individual, including existing members in other positions) and at least 10 physicians not including existing members that need to re-apply. We don't expect to fill all 10 of these slots, which is fine because most of them are MD/PA/NP slots so we can hire mid-levels in a future hiring round.

Anniston Advanced DMAT FTX

Preparations are well underway for our Advanced DMAT training in Anniston next month. Some of our August team meeting training will be focused towards that (see Training News below). All attending members should have registered with FEMA's Center for Domestic Preparedness by now (deadline today). You all must complete the Safety 101 course on Responder eLearn by August 15th (plan ahead; this course can take up to 2.5 hours! Paid, of course.), as well as complete your Responder Health Survey (which almost everyone has done already).

New JPATS team members

Jim Burr and Mark Weston are attending JPATS training this week in Sacramento, and will join Hunter as our JPATS-capable team members. These members will assist us with using JPATS on patient movement missions, and can also deploy to assist other DMATs, VA or DOD medical teams for patient movement (e.g., pre-landfall evacuations of healthcare facilities) during months that our team is not on-call.

Responder Health Statements and NDMS Portal

Members who do not complete their Responder Health Statements or do not successfully log onto the NDMS Portal will soon be moved to the inactive "to be released from NDMS" list in a few days. You should have been notified already if you're one of these at-risk individuals, but I'll also send out another notice soon.

Once you've completed these tasks, you will still need to maintain your access by logging into the NDMS Portal (and changing your password) every 60 days, and logging into RMS (where your Responder Health Survey is located) every 90 days. So think about adding these to-do items to your calendar as recurring tasks!

That's it for me for this month. I'll have more updates in-person at the August meeting; looking forward to seeing everyone there!

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