RealNews

Hospitals ready to back up military system

Casualties that overwhelm military hospitals and terrorist attacks in Western Pennsylvania are possibilities, rather than probabilities, in the war with Iraq, but area hospitals yesterday said they are prepared for either scenario. “We are ready,” said Dave Rossi, area manager of the National Disaster Medical System, a federal program established in the mid-1980s to respond to natural disasters or serve as a backup for the military hospital system. About 2,000 hospitals in 70 areas, including 66 hospitals in Western Pennsylvania and northern West Virginia, are part of the system. “Western Pennsylvania is probably in the top five in terms of the amount of hospitals and hospital beds,” said Rossi, who works in the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs’ office of emergency medical preparedness. Full Story

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