« VOL. 18, NO. 3 - July 18, 2018 | Main | »

Commander's Corner

Andy Swartzell - Deputy Commander

First, I want to thank everyone for their support and patience during the reorganization of the NDMS System and the impact it is having on our team. On the bright side, we have many new prospective members who have submitted applications for positions on the team. On the not-so-bright side, many team members have had to re-apply for positions they have held for years or apply to newly created ones, with little assurance that they will still be on the team. The Direct Hiring Authority given to HHS to add an estimated +3,000 new people to the teams has created both opportunity and confusion on how it is supposed to happen. One of the challenges all Team Commanders face, is how much information should they share with team members, and when.  Lately, it seems like the ink hasn’t even dried on some of the update notifications, before the hiring process has changed.  The information in this newsletter, at least for now, is the most current.

Frustration is not a new experience for team members. It has always been and will continue to be with us... but so will the rewards.  Semper Gumby.


NDMS Team Hiring Update:

On Friday April 13th, the second round of NDMS related applications was posted on USAjobs. The application period will close on August 3rd, 2018 but the applications will be reviewed in batches so it is important to submit an application as soon as possible. Applicants must read the announcement in its entirety, follow all instructions, and provide the required documentation.  All questions involving the positions will only be answered by the points of contacts on the announcements.  More information has been posted on the Hot News area of the team website and sent to prospective team members. Some team members have also been posting suggestions on completing the applications in the “What’s New?” (chatter area) on the team website.

Click here for the current list of positions posted on USAjobs, and direct links to the applications. Please share the information with anyone interested in joining the team.

And please congratulate Lisa Vajgrt-Smith who is now a Deputy Team Leader for our team! Lisa will be one of three DTLs and she has already started taking on several management tasks. Thank you, Lisa!


The San Francisco CAL-MAT unit will be officially “Stood Up” by the California EMS Authority at the team meeting in May. Congratulations to the unit Command Staff: Mark Weston (Unit Leader), Thomas Cromwell (Medical Officer), Crystal Wright (Admin Specialist), Kam McCowen (Training Officer).

The second phase of CAL-MAT applications (for non-DMAT people) is starting and will be widely distributed. People can apply on the EMSA website. More information on signing up will be available at the team meeting.

One of the missions for CAL-MAT will be providing Medical Support for CAL-FIRE during large wildland fire incidents, like the recent fires in Napa and Sonoma counties. Michael Frenn, the CAL-MAT coordinator for EMSA will be at the team meeting in May to explain the Concept of Operations (CONOPS) for wildland fire activations.

Sign up for the Moffett FTX in June has not been good. This is a valuable training opportunity for us and for our USAR Medical Team(s) partners. Although preference will be given to current CAL-MAT members the FTX is open to all who wish to participate.  The exercise set up starts on June 4th, but the training occurs on the 6th and field exercise on the 7th. You can come for all days, or choose the days you can participate. The $41 price tag to register will be reimbursed, except for about $1.67... if you show up! Pretty good deal for great training, catered food and CE’s.

 Click here for the Moffett FTX flyer

CDMSA Cuba Trip

There is still time to sign up for the Cuba Disaster Response Research Trip 2018.We will have information and applications at the May team meeting but the application period will close about the same time. If you need more information or wish to sign up, contact Barbara Morita soon at moritaiko1@gmail.com

Peru Medical Mission (Not an NDMS mission)

There are a couple of openings for a Medical Mission trip to Peru, June 16-26? If anyone knows of an ultrasonographer, they would love to have him/her on board as well! And translators!

Refer to the website www.hrimm.org for more info or contact Aileen Hayes at macahayes1@gmail.com


See you all in May!


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