California Unveils World's Largest Mobile Civilian Hospital in Preparation for Major California Disaster

Rough & Ready 2007 Brings 400-Member Emergency Medical Response Force to Action


The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) today at their 2007 Rough & Ready disaster medical field training and demonstration unveiled one of California's three new 200-bed mobile hospitals, the largest civilian medical response facilities of their kind, along with other new medical assets to be used in responding to a major disaster. "When disaster strikes, being prepared is key to saving lives. The State's new mobile field hospitals and our trained volunteer emergency responders are going to help prepare California to quickly and effectively provide emergency services during a major medical disaster," said Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

The addition of the hospitals continues California's commitment to providing additional medical surge capacity to local communities in the event of natural disasters, a pandemic flu outbreak or other mass casualty incidents.

As part of Rough & Ready 2007, California showcased the mobile hospitals and hosted a week of intensive training for more than 400 volunteer emergency responders at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base. The base provided an ideal backdrop for one of the largest emergency response trainings the State has seen. In an area spanning five football fields, crews and equipment simulated a major Southern California disaster. Within posed disastrous conditions, emergency responders from across the state pulled together to showcase California's ability to bring order to the most chaotic of situations, all while fine tuning their crucial patient treatment skills. Highlights included:

  -- A fully functional 23,000-square-foot mobile hospital able to provide
     extensive medical services ranging from emergency/triage to surgery and
     intensive care.

  -- A California Air National Guard C130 transport aircraft with a fully
     equipped airlift team.

  -- A dry run with state-of-the-art field medical capabilities including
     surgery, radiology, laboratory and intensive care services with
     specialized mobile medical equipment including ventilators, monitors,
     diagnostic equipment and portable oxygen delivery systems.

  -- California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MAT), which are activated to
     support local mutual aid requests during a state of emergency. Members
     from each of the state's three teams are rapidly deployed and arrive
     onsite to treat patients within 12 hours of being dispatched; they are
     able to be self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. Their specialties
     include medical base camp operation, staff support for an existing
     facility, hospital or nursing home evacuation, medical shelter
     operation, mass immunizations or prophylaxis, etc.

  -- Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT), federally sponsored teams
     which are activated to support local mutual aid requests during a state
     of emergency. Each of the state's six primary teams is able to be self
     sufficient for 72 hours, their responsibilities include triaging
     patients, providing austere medical care and preparing patients for
     evacuation. In addition, California has a DMAT mental health specialty

  -- Ambulance strike teams with Disaster Medical Support Units (DMSU) that
     provide a rapid, organized, self-sufficient response of ambulances,
     medical personnel and interoperable communications to meet emergency
     medical transportation needs.

  -- Field treatment sites with more than 100 disaster "victims."

"In California, it's not a matter of if a disaster will strike, but when," said Cesar Aristeiguieta, M.D., director of Emergency Medical Services Authority. "Rough & Ready 2007 is the culmination of the efforts put forth by agencies and organizations committed to ensuring quality patient care, even in the most disastrous of situations."

Dr. Aristeiguieta urged all Californians to have a family emergency plan. "You can't predict or prevent an emergency, but you can prepare. The State is prepared to assist in a disaster, but each of us also needs to make sure that our families are prepared with 72-hours of supplies such as food, water and clothes," Aristeiguieta said.

As a national leader in medical emergency preparedness, California relies on strong public-private partnerships. Rough & Ready 2007 brought together not only volunteer emergency medical responders, but also disaster medical response teams, representatives from the California Department of Public Health, California Highway Patrol, California National Guard, National Disaster Medical System, Office of Homeland Security and the Office of Emergency Services. For more information on disaster preparedness go to and

About the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA): The EMS Authority is charged with providing leadership in developing and implementing EMS systems throughout California and setting standards for the training and scope of practice of various levels of EMS personnel. The EMS Authority also has responsibility for promoting disaster medical preparedness throughout the state, and, when required, managing the state's medical response to major disasters.

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SOURCE: California Emergency Medical Services Authority

CONTACT: Nancy Limon of PainePR, +1-213-996-3772, or cell,
+1-916-719-4442,, for California Emergency Medical Services

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