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Town officials call on National Disaster Medical System to support hospital, health care providers

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Hempstead Town Supervisor Don Clavin, Councilman Anthony D’Esposito and Hempstead Town Medical Director Dr. David Neubert called on U.S. Senators Chuck Schumer and Kirsten Gillibrand to support their request to deploy the National Disaster Medical System to the Town of Hempstead during the coronavirus pandemic.

The officials, who co-chair the town’s Coronavirus Task Force, said that deploying NDMS personnel into COVID-19 “hotspots” could augment current disaster response. According to the Nassau County Department of Health, as of March 29, Hempstead Town had nearly 2,000 confirmed COVID-19 cases, the most of any municipality in Nassau and Suffolk counties.

According to the system’s website, more than 5,000 medical professionals can be counted on to “protect health and augment healthcare systems to stabilize patients and save lives.” As hospitals across the region are pushed to the limit in the fight against coronavirus, officials said the service could be an invaluable supplement to burdened health care providers, and potentially save more lives. NDMS was last deployed in Hempstead after Superstorm Sandy.

“The NDMS comprises medical professionals from across the nation who are ready when disaster strikes,” said Neubert, who is a member of NDMS. “I am confident that the talented NDMS system can help support our healthcare needs during this time to help protect public health and save lives.”

If activated, NDMS could set up hospital tents and provide supplies and other resources to augment pandemic response on the local level. According to the system, teams are often deployed for 14 days or longer, “and stay until local medical resources have recovered or are being supplemented by other organizations.”

“We truly hope and pray that efforts to flatten the COVID-19 curve are successful as soon as possible,” Clavin said, “but as strong and capable as our healthcare system is, it is already being tested to its limits. We need to act now to ensure that no patient will be left behind.

“We firmly believe that the NDMS can provide a vital boost for our healthcare providers, but we need our federal representatives to deploy them right away.”

— Alyssa Seidman