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Rural Mass Casualty Preparedness and Response: The Institute of Medicine's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events

  • Kristin P. Viswanathan, Robert Bass, Gamunu Wijetunge and Bruce M. Altevogt


The Institute of Medicine's Forum on Medical and Public Health Preparedness for Catastrophic Events hosted a workshop at the request of the Federal Interagency Committee on Emergency Medical Services (FICEMS) that brought together a range of stakeholders to broadly identify and confront gaps in rural infrastructure that challenge mass casualty incident (MCI) response and potential mechanisms to fill them. This report summarizes the presentations and discussions around 6 major issues specific to rural MCI preparedness and response: (1) improving rural response to MCI through improving daily capacity and capability, (2) leveraging current and emerging technology to overcome infrastructure deficits, (3) sustaining and strengthening relationships, (4) developing and sharing best practices across jurisdictions and sectors, (5) establishing metrics research and development, and (6) fostering the need for federal leadership to expand and integrate EMS into a broader rural response framework.

(Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2012;6:297–302)


Corresponding author

Correspondence Bruce M. Altevogt, PhD, 500 Fifth St NW, Washington, DC 20001 (e-mail:


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3.National Transportation Safety Board. Motorcoach Run-off-the-Road and Rollover, U.S. Route 163, Mexican Hat, Utah, January 6, 2008. Washington, DC; 2009. Highway Accident Report NTSB/HAR-09/01.
4.Institute of Medicine. Preparedness and Response to a Rural Mass Casualty Incident: Workshop Summary.Washington, DC: National Academies Press; 2011.



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