SMRC-IND Team Conducts Annual Training
The U.S. Army Medical Materiel Development Activity's Division's Specialized MEDCOM [U.S. Army Medical Command] Response Capabilities â€" Investigational New Drug, or SMRC-IND team is a deployable asset for the Medical Command called in for on-site support of Chemical, Biological, Radiological and Nuclear incidents or public health emergencies when IND products are indicated for U.S. Forces. The Telemedicine & Advanced Technology Research Center's Specialized SMRC â€" Medical Command, Control and Communications-Telemedicine team is a deployable asset for the Medical Command, who on order provides communication capabilities for other SMRC teams worldwide.
The USAMMDA Division of Investigational New Drugs for Force Health Protection partnered with TATRC to conduct the SMRC-IND team's annual training exercise at Fort Detrick, Md., on April 25 to prepare for potential deployment of IND protocols and subject matter expertise.
"The purpose of this training was to develop the core skills required for the SMRC-IND team to execute the MEDCOM mission of providing IND treatment to DOD Forces in response to CBRN incidents and emerging disease threats," said Lt. Col. Jennifer Kishimori, deputy director for the Division of IND-FHP and officer-in-charge of the exercise.
During the training, SMRC-IND team members became more familiarized with the current IND protocols, cold chain management procedures, communications equipment training and personal protective equipment.
"Core skill training should be regularly conducted and is the basis for our capability once we are on the ground during an incident," said Kishimori. "The goal is to gain proficiency on the IND protocols, then work up to deployment with the team facilitating IND protocol execution and finally, integrate that into a full-scale exercise with our DOD partners."
This year was the first time the IND team had all the providers available â€" and the MC3T team participated with their equipment set. The MC3T communication capabilities consisted of air-transportable BGAN-based communications set, which is capable of voice, video and data communications worldwide.
According to Kishimori, this year's protocol training was conducted in a modified field environment at TATRC's Operational TeleMedicine Lab, where case-based scenarios were exercised, emphasizing key diagnostic indicators and overarching protocol parameters. The next event is expected to focus on running threat-based scenarios where team members will facilitate a principle investigator establishing a site, enrolling patients and completing and storing associated required documentation.
The day's training included hands-on cold chain management, an introduction to the MC4 computers, familiarization with internal communications equipment and familiarization with personal protective equipment, which are essential to building a robust deployment capability.
"Partnering with TATRC and the MC3T assets was key to establishing solid working relationships and ensuring team members understood the MC3T capabilities," said Kishimori.