2004 Adopted Resolutions
72nd Annual Meeting

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†††† WHEREAS, local city governments provide the first line of defense for their citizens, and first responders are the ones who deal with the health needs of survivors following a catastrophic event in their community; and

†††† WHEREAS, the Metropolitan Medical Response (MMRS) program assists jurisdictions in developing plans, conducting training and exercises, and acquiring pharmaceuticals and personal protective equipment to respond to a mass casualty event during the first crucial hours following a terrorist act, an epidemic disease outbreak, an incident involving hazardous materials, or a natural disaster; and

†††† WHEREAS, the MMRS program links fire and police responders with other municipal, county and state agencies and the private sector; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS organizes an Interagency Threat Assessment Group that shares intelligence with direct delivery components of the emergency response system such as ambulance companies, fire service, hazardous materials responders, and allied law enforcement agencies.Sharing of information greatly enhances the working relationship between agencies and makes for a more effective response to threats or actual incidents; and

†††† WHEREAS, the 124 local MMRS programs in the United States protect 70 percent of the American population; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS coordinates, trains, and sponsors directed drills and exercises for responses to terrorist-initiated events, which are large scale events that require the coordination and direct service delivery from many organizations; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS systems have identified shortfalls in training and response for various Chemical, Biological, Radiological, Nuclear and Explosive (CBRNE) situations, including initiating training programs to certify paramedics to administer immunizations.Such abilities will be critical in the face of a biological epidemic such as smallpox; and

†††† WHEREAS, training is provided by MMRS to improve first responder ability to recognize a chemical, biological and other WMD agents, and to modify the response for such an emergency, as well as direct training on personal protective equipment for such events and how to treat civilians who have been exposed; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS systems have plans for treating the first responder and families of first responders in the event of a biological event; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS systems, unlike Public Health workers, who are not trained or well experienced in operating the Incident Command System, utilize the system as a core aspect of how they are organized and respond to events; and

†††† WHEREAS, given that, in the face of a WMD threat, or actual WMD event, an estimated 50 people will self-refer to a hospital to every one person who may have had exposure, MMRS systems have plans for rapidly expanding the healthcare system and protecting hospital infrastructure; and

WHEREAS, recruitment, training, and coordination of medical professionals, including retired doctors, nurses, mental health professionals, is the responsibility of MMRS, so that they can effectively function within an Incident Command System in an actual event; and

WHEREAS, the CDC and other federal resources may recognize a biological event and ship the Strategic National Stockpile to a city.However, once the medications are received at a local airport, there is no provision to offload the aircraft, store the medications, sub-divide the medications, or coordinate dispensing sites at the street level without the MMRS; and

†††† WHEREAS, MMRS recruits, trains, and organizes pharmacy professionals into efficient task forces to respond in the case of a biological WMD event; and

†††† WHEREAS, some MMRS cities have trained upwards of 7,000 persons in terrorism preparedness,

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that The U. S. Conference of Mayors calls on the federal government to release the full $50 million appropriated for the MMRS program in FY 2004 to sustain this ďall hazardsĒ response capability to protect our nationís cities; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that The U.S. Conference of Mayors calls on Congress to authorize and fully fund the MMRS program to ensure that our nationís first responders have the resources they need to efficiently and effectively respond to disasters in their local communities.