On Friday, January 7 and Saturday, January 8, 2006, DHS Technologies LLC engineers, field technicians and documentation specialists trained more than 30 Department of Public Health, EMS and firefighter personnel to set up the first major components of Connecticut’s new Rapid Deployment Medical Facility (RDMF) at Camp Hartell in Windsor Locks, Connecticut.
Connecticut officials have christened the facility The Ottilie W. Lundgren Memorial Field Hospital, dedicated to the memory of the Oxford, CT resident who died in the 2001 US anthrax attacks.
Once complete, the 100-bed custom medical facility can be assembled within hours and will be staffed by healthcare personnel from Connecticut’s 32 acute care hospitals. It is expected to be able to triage and treat hundreds of patients in the event of a hurricane, flood, terror attack or any other life-threatening incident, and will also serve as a training site for other US states wishing to similarly protect their residents.
The medical facility is based on the patented DHS Deployable Rapid Assembly Shelter (DRASH) system, a cutting edge system constructed of space age composite and synthetic materials, with a design based on a geodesic dome. The system integrates shelter, mobility, lighting, heating, cooling and power distribution and features five different series of interconnected shelters with 42 models of multiple widths and lengths. The shelters are integrated with patented special Utility Shelter Transporter (UST) trailers that provide a power package, environmental control system, cabling, wiring, outlet boxes, fluorescent lighting, external and insulating ducts, a complete shower, toilet and water supply system, plus related shelter equipment. All products are supported by training, continuous technical support and rapid delivery of spare parts.
"We are proud to be part of Connecticut’s dedication to cutting-edge emergency preparedness," says A. Jon Prusmack, president, CEO and founder of DHS. Mr. Prusmack adds that a major lesson from the ravages of Katrina is that shelters, such as the RDMF chosen by Connecticut, play a significant role in reducing chaos and saving lives. In the aftermath of Katrina, DHS deployed and serviced more than 100 such facilities and related equipment for both civilian and military organizations helping with the relief effort.
After a three-hour evening classroom session on Friday, January 6 in which DHS employees explained and demonstrated the specifics of setting up the hospital, volunteers took to the field the next day to successfully set up the first 25-bed unit of the facility.
The complete facility is expected to be ready for deployment by the beginning of April 2006.