Prairie North: A joint civilian/military mass casualty exercise highlights the role of the National Guard in community disaster response


  • George Vukotich, PhD
  • Jamil D. Bayram, MD, MPH, EMDM, MEd
  • Miriam I. Miller, MPH, CHEC



civilian/military, disaster, support operations, National Guard, Rush University Medical Center


In a joint military/civilian exercise conducted in June 2010, military National Guard medical and decontamination response efforts proved to be paramount in supporting hospital resources to sustain an adequate response during a simulated terrorist event. Traditionally, hospitals include local responders in their disaster preparedness but overlook other available state and federal resources such as the National Guard. Lessons learned from the exercise included the value of regular joint disaster planning and training between the military and civilian medical sectors. Additionally, military communication and medical equipment compatibility with the civilian infrastructure was identified as one of the top areas for the improvement of this joint exercise. Involving the National Guard in community disaster planning provides a valuable medical support asset that can be critical in responding to multiple casualty events. National Guard response is inherently faster than its federal counterpart. Based on the findings from our joint exercise, states are encouraged to incorporate their corresponding National Guard in civilian critical medical infrastructure disaster preparedness activities, as the National Guard can be an integral part of the disaster response efforts in real multiple casualty events.

Author Biographies

George Vukotich, PhD

Dean, College of Business, Concordia University Chicago, River Forest, Illinois.

Jamil D. Bayram, MD, MPH, EMDM, MEd

Assistant Professor, Department of Emergency Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Maryland.

Miriam I. Miller, MPH, CHEC

Emergency Management Coordinator, Rush University Medical Center, Chicago, Illinois.


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How to Cite

Vukotich, PhD, G., J. D. Bayram, MD, MPH, EMDM, MEd, and M. I. Miller, MPH, CHEC. “Prairie North: A Joint civilian/Military Mass Casualty Exercise Highlights the Role of the National Guard in Community Disaster Response”. American Journal of Disaster Medicine, vol. 7, no. 1, Jan. 2012, pp. 65-72, doi:10.5055/ajdm.2012.0082.




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