Emergency Preparedness

Modular Emergency Medical System (MEMS)

In the event of a large scale medical emergency, either man-made or natural disaster, Healthcare systems could become overwhelmed forcing local emergency management officials to determine alternative means to provide patient care. Currently, the Kent County Health Department is working closely with community partners to identify effective strategies for addressing the healthcare needs in the event of a disaster or emergency. In Kent County, we are planning to address the issue of surge capacity for our local healthcare partners utilizing an alternative means to provide traditional care called the Modular Emergency Medical System (MEMS).

The MEMS concept calls for the rapid organization of two types of expandable patient care modules, the Neighborhood Emergency Help Centers (NEHC) and the Acute Care Center (ACC). These two modules will aid in the triage of healthcare needs to support surge capacity issues that are likely to be encountered within our communities.

The mission of the NEHC is to direct casualties, especially non-critical and asymptomatic, potentially exposed patients, away from the Emergency Departments, allowing hospitals to continue to remain open in some capacity. In addition, the NEHC will render basic medical evaluation and triage while also providing limited treatment including the stabilization and distribution of prophylaxis, medication, self-help information, and instruction. An acute care center is designed to treat patients who need inpatient treatment but do not require mechanical ventilation.

Utilizing NEHC’s, the Kent County Health Department is working to develop effective strategies to distribute medication and/or vaccination to the citizens of Kent County in the event of an emergency. Our planning goal is to distribute medication or vaccination to the Kent County residents within 5 days of an incident.