"Partnership for Preparedness": Presented to the National MAST Conference
April 21, 1983
MAST stands for Military Assistance in Safety and Traffic Committee. MAST is a civilian operation working with the assistance
of the military in safety and traffic for the civilian population. It has to do with everything from the eruption of Mt. Saint
Helens to an individual's traffic accidents that result in mortality or morbidity. My effort in this lecture was to address
the partnership aspects in preparedness.
I opened this lecture by congratulating the partnership on accomplishments already achieved, and I pointed out that the United
States, although not unique, is outstanding in the use of our country's armed forces for an essentially humane, lifesaving
activity. In many parts of the globe, the civilian medical establishment spends much of its time repairing the mayhem produced
by the military. I went on to point out that MAST, although perhaps outstanding, was an example of a cooperative spirit being
expanded and emulated in this country. I talked about the air-ambulance guidelines, the National Highway Safety Administration,
and the Commission of Emergency Medical Services of the American Medical Association.
Of more recent vintage is the Civilian-Military Contingency Hospital System concept, which developed after our experience
during the Vietnam War and sought to prepare us for another major conventional conflict and improve how we transport our wounded
back to the continental United States for proper treatment.
This program is "CHIMSUS", but there is another called NIDMUS, which is the National Disaster Medical System. This
is the first mention by me ever, of a national emergency system not part of war, and not necessarily the result of deliberate
anti-American action, but including problems such as, fire, flood, snow, and hurricane. But it is the foundation of thinking
of the preparedness so much talked about in the early years of the 21" century in reference to terrorism. All this of
course, was tied in with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
It was a special audience to which this lecture was delivered, because the personnel, who were involved in MAST operations,
could represent in their areas a reliable core of local experience and expertise.
I closed with the proposed cooperation between all of these aforementioned plans and the United States Public Health Service
and how much the MAST Program has already served as an example.
Civilian-Military Contingency Hospital System (CHIMSUS)