Maui Hospital to Participate in World’s Largest Maritime Exercise

July 18, 2012, 1:31 PM HST · Updated July 20, 4:57 PM
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RIMPAC, courtesy photo.

By Wendy Osher

*** An update with VIDEO from the Maui RIMPAC air support is now posted at the following direct LINK.

The largest maritime warfare exercise in the world will conduct part of its training on Maui this week.

The humanitarian assistance and disaster response drill will utilize the helipad at the Maui Memorial Medical Center for the transport of mock patients this Friday, July 20, 2012.

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The Seahawk helicopters are expected to land between 1 and 3 p.m.

The Maui Memorial Medical Center is the only neighbor island hospital participating in the exercise.  It is also the first time that US hospitals are participating in the RIMPAC (Rim of the Pacific Exercise) event.

Officials say the exercise is an unprecedented opportunity that offers live practice for hospitals statewide.  Hospitals will participate in the disaster scenario exercises with helicopter landings, patient transport, and moulage (mock injuries molded from rubber or latex). Simulated casualty care operations will run July 19 and 20, 2012.

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Under the mock scenario, response crews will assist in the aftermath of a hypothetical 9.0 Chilean earthquake that generates a massive tsunami, damaging coastal infrastructure with injuries and loss of life.

The exercise to restore the fictional nation of “Chianti” includes the establishment of a joint field medical facility on Ford Island; patient movement to various hospitals on Oahu and Maui by ground and air; simulated public health messaging; activation of an alert and notification network; resupply operations; and communications exercises utilizing 800MHz networks.

The RIMPAC exercises take place every two years in Hawaiian waters and includes the participation of 22 nations who use the drills to refine joint operations.

Supporting joint nation maritime forces participate in the exercise to refine ways of reduce human suffering and assist with short-term recovery.

Missions include the coordination of a statewide coalition for operations; management of aeromedical and ground patient movement; establishment and operation of a 50-bed ACM for 48 hours; coordination with participating government agencies; and supporting a joint public information initiative with the US Navy Public Affairs division.

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