Team Profile and History of OH-1 DMAT

In 1983 the President of the United States declared, by executive order, the formation of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS). NDMS was to have two functions:

  • Create a system whereby civilian hospital beds could be used in the event of a disaster within the U.S.
  • Create Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMATs) who could respond to those disasters.

Representatives from the Department of Veterans Affairs (DVA), the Defense Department (DoD), the Health and Human Services Department (DHHS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) were tasked with the implementation of this Executive Order with DHHS as the lead agency.

In 1985 Dr. Paul Rega, while attending a conference, heard about the National Disaster Medical System and became interested in setting up a Toledo Area Disaster Medical Assistance Team (now the OH-1 DMAT). By 1986, representatives from several Toledo area hospitals started forming teams. The following all created their own version of disaster response teams: St. Vincent Medical Center, St. Charles Hospital, The Toledo Hospital and Medical College Hospitals. During the years from 1990-1992 the Toledo Area DMATs became more organized and participated in several disaster drills and training exercises.

In 1991, the original sponsor of the Toledo Area DMATs, the Regional Emergency Medical Services of Northwest Ohio (REMSNO) decided to drop sponsorship of the team after NW Ohio voters failed to renew the levy supporting the agency. In the fall of 1991, Churton Budd encouraged the Medical College of Ohio (MCO) and NDMS to sign a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) which established MCO as the local supporting agency of the Toledo Area DMAT. As a supporting agency, MCO agreed to assume sponsorship of the Toledo Area DMAT and provide a meeting place and administrative support of the Toledo Area DMAT. Although sponsored by MCO, it was recognized that the Toledo DMAT was to be composed of members of all four area hospitals and could only function with their continued support.

Since that time, the TADMAT has evolved into the OH-1 DMAT one of the top three configured level 1 DMAT teams in the United States federal service. The DMAT is now composed of intermittent Federal Employees of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services. There are no longer local “sponsorships” of the team and it’s members now hail regionally from across NE Illinois, North Central/Northeast Indiana, Michigan, the Toledo area as well as from Cleveland, Youngstown and other surrounding communities and jurisdictions.

OH-1 Evolutionary Timeline

1986 TADMAT Formed: Sponsored by the Regional Emergency Medical Services of Northwest Ohio (REMSNO) the TADMAT is one of the first groups of volunteers organized into a group primarily to become a DMAT. Prior to this, other DMATs had been formed from already established response teams or as a response arm of a civilian or military/VA hospital. The TADMAT (Toledo Area Disaster Medical Team) was actually formed as three teams (OH-1 A: administrative arm, OH-1 B: TTH, OH-1 C St. Charles Hospital. MCO Joined as OH-1 D in mid1989, and St. Vincent’s Hospital as OH-1 E in 1990).

11/1988 High Rise Disaster Drill: Members of the TADMAT participate in their first disaster drill, A simulated fire in the Owens-Corning tower.

05/1989 Airport Disaster Drill: The TADMAT participates in its first Toledo Express Airport disaster drill. The first of many.

09/1989 First Major Deployment of NDMS Team: The Albuquerque, New Mexico (NM-1) DMAT responds to St. Croix after it was devastated by Hurricane Hugo. This was the first major response of the National Disaster Medical System.

10/1990 Persian Gulf War thwarts national NDMS drill, team has local drill instead: This was going to be an NDMS national level drill, but Air support to travel to Tennessee was withdrawn due to trouble in the Persian Gulf. The team held a drill locally instead. (There are 16 other established DMAT’s in the NDMS at this time – The TADMAT has 180 persons on the roster with 71 approved at the Federal level)

11/1991 TADMAT loses its sponsor: Lucas County voters turn down the REMSNO levy. The TADMAT and NDMS receive a letter canceling their sponsorship of the team. The TADMAT is advised by NDMS to find another sponsor.

04/1992 MOU with MCO as new sponsor: NDMS Director, Thomas Reutershan visits Toledo and convinces Dr. Frank McCullough of the Medical College of Ohio to sign an MOU with NDMS as the new team sponsor.

08/1992 Hurricane Andrew: the TADMAT was activated by NDMS and deployed with a 66 member complement to the South Miami Florida area to treat victims of Hurricane Andrew. The TADMAT treated over 3000 victims at three sites during a 4 day medical mission, sent a medical sortie into the Everglades, provided administrative assistance and manpower to the NDMS Management Support Unit and provided medical assistance to the military at our site during the 10 day deployment The TADMAT was the only DMAT functioning during the Labor Day weekend 1992 in the disaster area.

09/1992 CATEX 92: The teams first national level NDMS drill. The TADMAT sends members to Long Prairie, MN for CATastrophic EXercise ’92. As we had just returned from a 10 day deployment, only a handful of team members are able to deploy. This drill was to be as practice for a larger exercise in October.

10/1992 NDMS ’92 / Steel Cure II: The TADMAT sends about 30 members to Cape Girardeau, MS for another national level disaster drill. The team is co-located at Cape Girardeau Fire Station with the MI-1 DMAT a Navy medical unit and an Army Aid Station unit.

11/1992 TADMAT participates in Andrew Debriefing: Paul Rega, Kelly Burkholder-Allen and Churton Budd travel to Washington to participate in an NDMS Debriefing of the Andrew Deployment. Lessons learned from this deployment are invaluable.

01/1993 TADMAT initiates yearly dues: In an effort to trim the roster to only those truly interested in the TADMAT, a $10 yearly dues is approved by majority team vote. A point system based on attendance and training for choosing who deploys or participates in major drills is also set up.

03/1993 Deb Pfann accepts post as treasurer: TADMAT makes agreement with the MCO Foundation to set up a not-for-profit account and the team establishes a formal bank account with them. Deb Pfann accepts the post of team Treasurer.

04/1993 Head of NDMS changes hands: Tom Reutershan is replaced by Dr. Frank Young as head of the NDMS.

05/1993 TADMAT meets with Congressperson: The team leadership meet with Marcy Kaptur, congressperson to make her aware of the team.

06/1993 SUMEX ’93: The first of TADMATs SUMmer EXercise series. The team erects a GP medium tent in 9 1/2 minutes.

10/1993 Airport Disaster Drill: The TADMAT participates in LifeSaver ’93, another Toledo Express Airport disaster drill. Excellent TV and interview coverage resulted increased community awareness and support of the TADMAT.

10/1993 TADMAT has first fund-raiser: The TADMAT raises about $500 at a fund-raiser a the Arby’s restaurant. Voicemail: MCO gives the team a voicemail number to announce team meetings and deployment updates. Technology enhancement emerges! The local Kiwanis donate generator: The Westgate chapter of the local Kiwanis donate a 5KW generator to the team.

TADMAT becomes a LEVEL – 1 team: As part of the NDMS team development program, the TADMAT is recognized as a Level-1 team.

12/1993 Haitian / Cuban Refugee Crisis: Dr Paul Rega, Team founder and command staff travel to Atlanta, GA for a 1 day seminar and planning session by NDMS on how best to prepare teams to handle an influx of refugees.

01/1994 GIS Experts: TADMAT establishes a relationship with the University of Toledo Geography and Planning department for Geographic Information Systems and mapping support during a deployment.

01/1994 Northridge Earthquake: the TADMAT was placed on alert to prepare for deployment of 15 persons (five, three person teams of MD’s, RN’s and EMTP’s) to assist victims of the Northridge, California earthquake (01/17/94). The TADMAT was next to be activated for deployment, but was staged down when California Emergency Management officials decided that the response was being handled appropriately by local assets.

Resupply Load: The team takes possession of the long awaited NDMS DMAT Resupply Load which consists of about $167,000.00 worth of soft / disposable medical supplies.

02/1994 NDMS BBS: NDMS establishes an electronic Bulletin Board System that was set up by Churton Budd at NDMS HQ.

08/1994 Battalion Aid Station equipment: The TADMAT received an unexpected an unannounced load of equipment from a decommissioned Army Battalion Aid Station that NDMS acquired.

09/1994 Dr Frank Young speaks at Grand Rounds: Dr. Young, visits Toledo to speak at the Emergency Medicine Grand Rounds.

TADMAT develops DOSS: The team has developed a tool for pre/post disaster assessment called the Disaster Outreach Severity Score (DOSS). A field test of this using GPS mapping is performed in a Maumee neighborhood.

10/1994 NM-1 Disaster Medicine Conference: Team leadership members travel to New Mexico for the University of New Mexico Disaster Medicine symposium and present on the Patient Satisfaction Survey of Hurricane Andrew victims.

03/1995 NDMS National Conference in Nashville, TN: Burkholder, Rega, Budd and McConnoughy, all present lectures at this conference.

06/1995 OAEMS Conference disaster training: TADMAT puts on an 8 hour session including a field demonstration on “Disaster Management for all levels”

TADMAT Khaki Uniforms: The team receives a supply of khaki uniforms from NDMS as the color is adopted as a national uniform standard.

07/1995 OMAT Forms: In an effort to try to establish an MOU with the State of Ohio, the TADMAT, OH-5 Dayton DMAT, OH-6 Youngstown DMAT and Cincinnati Medical Assistance Team form a formal group called the Ohio Medical Assistance Teams.

08/1995 Hurricane Marilyn: the TADMAT was deployed to assist victims of Hurricane Marilyn in St. Thomas, USVI. The 38 member team deployed for 9 days and functioned in place of the Emergency Department of St. Thomas Hospital. The MA-1 team was co-located at the TADMAT site and the two teams provided round the clock emergency care to over 1500 victims in that one week. The TADMAT was rendering care 4 days after the hurricane hit the island. The team leaves all our equipment for incoming DMATs with a promise by NDMS that our assets will be replaced.

09/1995 Airshow: The TADMAT provides medical support for the Toledo Express Airshow ’95. Meeting this commitment was difficult due to all of our team equipment being left in St. Thomas after our response there.

10/1995: TADMAT Special Committee (Fogel Committee) forms: In an effort to address team morale issues.

11/1995 Fall Field Exercises / Boy Scout Training: The team holds our annual field exercises with a new twist; almost 200 boy scouts also attend the two day event and receive training for their Disaster Response merit badge. They then act as victims for our mass casualty exercise.

11/1995 MOU with State of Ohio: The Ohio teams and the State of Ohio are ready to sign an MOU and have a date set. A few days prior to this event, the State cancels the MOU as illness and resignations in their ranks occur. The MOU is never signed !

06/1996 County disaster drill: the team participates in TeamEffort ’96 a county wide disaster drill. The TADMAT is the major medical treatment provider for this exercise and sets up a field hospital / casualty clearing point.

Fund raiser: The TADMAT holds a co-shop fund raiser at local PHARM stores.

07/96 1996 Summer Olympic Games: team members from the TADMAT deployed to the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Georgia. Team members underwent hazardous materials training and readiness and learned skills necessary to respond in the event of a chemical or biological weapon of mass destruction. Fortunately, no team members were required to respond to an actual event but the deployment was considered a good mobilization and training exercise.

10/1996 Fall field exercises: the team holds its annual field exercises. Despite limited number of team members present team members, the team still hosts the Boy Scouts.

03/1997: Commander Dr. Paul Rega deploys to Grand Forks as the Medical Officer for the response to the North Dakota Floods.

09/1997 Action Committee forms: Due to problems with our Executive Committee being too large and difficulty in getting a majority of the group together, the TADMAT leadership is restructured into an Action Committee and gives itself 1 year to complete a team reorganization.

Dennis Bradley named TADMAT (OH-1) member of the Year.

10/1998 Storage is relocated: In a rush over a weekend, the TADMAT is told to vacate the Douglas Bldg. Lucas County ignores its MOU requiring 90 days written notice. MCO comes through for the team and provides storage in recently acquired space from TMHC.

12/1998 First Unit Commander Resigns: Dr Paul Rega resigns as Unit Commander.

Churton Budd is appointed Unit Commander and team leadership reorganization begins with the dissolution of the Action Committee after its 1 year timeline.

Paul Rega MD named TADMAT (OH-1) member of the Year.

01/1999 Team elections: The team initiates elections of two new Deputy Commanders. The team establishes a Team Leadership Group consisting of the Unit Commander and four Deputy Commanders. The Special Committee begins working on team by-laws.

03/1999 Winter Drill: the team holds another winter drill at the Pearson Metropark Lodge.

04/1999 NATO 50th deployment: The team deploys to Washington DC to stand by in the event of a terrorist or WMD act during the NATO 50th Annual conference.

05/1999 NDMS national conference Wash DC: Kelly Burkholder-Allen is appointed as a future chair of the National Associations of DMATs (her term is to start in 2001). Paul Rega accepts the Teams Volunteer of the year award.

Operation Provide Refuge: One of our team members, Jackie Hogan, deploys to Ft. Dix, NJ to assist in providing medical care to over 4000 Kosovo Refugee’s

06/1999 $3000 donated: TADMAT receives a $3000 donation from the Lutheran Brotherhood

07/1999 TADMAT community open house: the team holds a local community open house to try to heighten team members employers and local community leaders awareness of the team.

09/1999 Hurricane Floyd deployment: The team deploys to Ft. Jackson, SC to stand by in the event Hurricane Floyd causes major damage or injury. As Floyd turns back over the Atlantic, the team is demobilized without needing to be utilized.

10/1999 additional bank account: The TADMAT gets an additional bank account outside of the MCO Foundation. This is the first step in our achieving Not-For-Proffit status.

12/1999 Y2K: The TADMAT prepares for a response to Y2K issues. The team is not needed.

James Fenn RN is named TADMAT (OH-1) Member of the Year.

01/2000 Team Elections: The team passes its first by-laws. Deb Pfann is re-elected treasurer and Joyce Payne is elected Secretary of the TADMAT.

03/2000 winter drill: the team holds our annual winter drill

Terrorism training: The team jointly sponsors a terrorism training symposium with Toledo Fire.

06/2000 Field Exercises: focusing on our module II training program, the team holds our annual field exercises.

JCISM officer resigns: Al Swingle resigns in order to enjoy his retirement.

08/2000 Taiwan training: The TADMAT gets invited to Taiwan to provide almost 72 hours worth of training to medical personnel in Taipei who are forming two DMATs. Dr Paul Rega and Kelly Burkholder-Allen travel and complete this task.

09/2000 Funding for storage facility: The team receives funding for warehouse space in order to move our $250,000 worth of equipment to a stable storage facility.

10/2000 Fall field exercises: This year’s training also included MEDTEAMS training.

11/2000 Team moves equipment: The team moves our equipment and takes possession of our new storage facility. 1500 sq. ft. with climate control.

John Van Rynen RN RT/ Staff Nurse; is named OH-1 Member of the Year.

01/2001 Presidential Inauguration: John VanRynan RN deploys to Washington DC for the Inauguration.

04/2001 Kelly Burkholder-Allen becomes NADMAT Chair

06/2001 United Nations Congress, New York City: Strike Team members assigned to provide 1:1 support for visiting international representatives

08/2001 First in team: TADMAT was a first in team for the month of August. TADMAT on advisory for Hurricane Barry: The TADMAT was placed on advisory for 1 week while Hurricane Barry moved into the gulf near Florida and then came ashore.

10/2001 World Trade Center Response: Strike Team was deployed to treat responders

TADMAT on advisory for Hurricane Barry: The TADMAT was placed on advisory for 1 week while Hurricane Barry moved into the gulf near Florida and then came ashore.

Paul Johnson/ Security Chief; named OH-1 Member of the Year.

2002 Olympic Games – Salt Lake City UT: Strike Team deployed

Mike Fogle/Logs; named OH-1 Member of the Year.

2002 Typhoon Pongsona, Guam: Full DMAT deployed to provide disaster medical care to survivors

2003 James Fenn is elected Commander of OH-1 DMAT. Command staff changes are executed and the torch is passed.

Scott Rahrig/Logs Chief; named OH-1 Member of the year

2004 NDMS switches to command and control by Department of Homeland Security/FEMA.

Hurricane Frances, Orlando, FL. Full complement 35 member DMAT deployed who established a ’super shelter’ in the Orange County Convention Center; capable of housing 3,000+ evacuees and special needs patients from through the State of FL. OH-1 with MI-1 established a full spectrum field hospital as support for the shelter within the Convention Center – A FIRST for NDMS and FEMA.

Barb Fisher RN/ Supervisory Nurse; named OH-1 Member of the Year.

2005 Hurricane Katrina, Covington High School Special Needs Shelter – Covington, LA and West Jefferson hospital augmentation – New Orleans, LA. OH-1 staff completed two full DMAT missions as well as two medical Strike Team missions. Several team members supported the MST Operations Center in New Orleans as well.

2005 Hurricane Rita: Back to LA again!

2005 Hurricane Wilma. One team member deployed for the MST (now IRCT)

Anthony Boellner/ Logs; named OH-1 Member of the Year.

2005 & 2006, Logistics Team members deployed to Maryland to support Katrina re-supply.

2006 Kathy D’Amore/ Admin Officer; named OH-1 Member of the Year

2007 At the end of this calendar year and by US Congressional vote – NDMS is once again billeted under the command and control structure of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services effective Jan 2008. System restructuring is implemented throughout NDMS.

Georgia Siebenaler RT/ Training Officer.; named OH-1 Member of the Year

2008 Republican National Convention, 3 team members deployed to support IRCT.

Simultaneously- Hurricane Gustav, 44 member team deployed to Austin TX to provide medical support for New Orleans Acute Care evacuees at the Austin Convention Center.

3 days after returning from Gustav – Hurricane Ike, 10 members deployed individually to support OH-5, OH-6 and IA-1 in the Houston Area, Galveston Island (UTMB) areas as well as rural LA.

Rick “ Boudreaux” Hess RN/ Supervisory Nurse; named OH-1 Member of the Year

2009 North Dakota Red River Basin Flood, 35 Team members deployed to Bismark ND

Dr David Miramontes assumes the helm as Commander of OH-1 DMAT upon the resignation of James Fenn from that position. Paul Johnson also retired as Deputy Commander during that time frame of transition after a long tenure in that position as well. Team restructuring was instituted and a new generation of Command Staff rises to the occasion.

Dave Miramontes MD/ Commander; named OH-1 Member of the Year

2010 Haiti Earthquake 5 Person strike team deployed as part of Operation Haiti Relief. Dr Miramontes deployed as CMO officer to IRCT.

2010 Operation Deep Water Horizon: 2 Strike Teams consisting of 5 total members deployed to Louisiana to provide responder medical care secondary to the Deep Water Horizon oil spill in the gulf of Mexico.

2010 A group of team members traveled to Anniston AL to the Center for Disaster Preparedness  – where they obtained hands-on experience in WMD /biologicals-chemical agents as well as completing a course focused on ICS and a Pandemic Influenza Outbreak

Gerald Debien/ Comm Chief; named OH-1 Member of the Year


04/2011  Two groups of OH-1 members traveled to New Mexico Tech/Socorro NM and completed a week long hands-on training course “Incident Response to Terrorist Bombings” (IRTB).  There were also members who attended   Response to Suicide Bombing Incidents  (PRSBI)

05/2011  Command Staff attended the Integrated Training Summit sponsored by HHS which included all ESF-#8 partners.

06/2011   Commander Dave Miramontes MD announces he is leaving to assume a new position – Asst Chief/Fire EMS and Medical Director – Washington D.C. Fire

07/2011   Rick “Boudreaux” Hess RN CCM CNLCP  named “Acting ” Commander.

NDMS  X.O.  Tim Walton visits from Washington and Commander Miramontes is recognized for his service to NDMS and OH-1. The days of “Work The Magic” have come to a close with Dr Dave’s departure. Command Staff restructured –  Dr John “Sock” Lewton and John “Wojo” Woycitzki named “Acting” Deputy Commanders, Geral Debien assumes Ops Chief, Lisa Lemmon and Wes Cartwright assume added Paramedic Section Chief positions and succession leadership plan is rolled out.

Operation Brilliant Shield – Emmitsburg MD (FTX) 35 members OH-1 exemplified it’s new mantra “Razzle & Dazzle” as one of four teams challenged with the scenario of the FTX.  Environmental temps > 100 F and Heat indexes > 113 F did not deter the OH-1 from proving once again – OH-1 stands ready for any All-Hazards Missions and is cutting edge!

OH-1 submits 14 critical care and aeromed personnel to focus training as future members of the MAC-ST program. This is a partnership program uniting DoD aeromed assets and NDMS critical care/aeromed resources whose mission focus is airhead preparation & evacuation of acute care / critical patients. Chosen from over 400 aplicants – OH-1 MAC-ST members are now part of a three team national incentive which represents the elite of NDMS specialty assets.

08/2011   OH-1 activated and deployed for Hurricane Irene. 47 members were dispatched to Hartford CT where the team” rode out the storm”, then was quickly divided into a functional 35 member DMAT which traveled by ground to Burlington VT and a 12 member Strike Team (The Dirty Dozen) which remained ready and primed, in Hartford CT.

04/2012  32 members of the team traveled to NV and completed radiation tactical response training at the infamous Nevada Test Site

05/2012  7 members of the Command Staff attended the HHS sponsored Integrated Training Summit in Nashville TN. The focus of the training revolved around Leadership Development and information obtained will be utilized to promote team cohesiveness, succession leadership development and team preparedness. Additionally 5 members of the team also attended a pre-conference MAC-ST basic training which makes OH-1 the leading team in the NDMS system with numbers of Crit Care/Transport trained personnel

07/2012 23 members of the OH-1 were selected and traveled to Washington DC to provide medical support for the general population attending the annual festivities in “the district”. 10 members of the specialty trained OH-1 MAC-ST attended and drilled with DoD at Camp McCoy WI for Operation Noble Lifesaver. ..a joint NDMS/DoD training mission.

09/2012 MOY (member of the year) Honors were bestowed posthumously to Dorothy Pennington RN, whom we lost earlier in the summer – by unanimous vote.  

10/2012 17 members initially were deployed to the East Coast in response to Super Storm Sandy – there to provide backfill personnel for the TN-1, FL-1, NC-1 DMATs as part of a historical response to aide the residents of NJ and NYC which were disastrously affected by the storm. 28 members in total were embedded with the additional teams of MN-1, SC-1, and TX-1

1/2013 32 members of OH-1 traveled to Anniston AL/Center for Disaster Preparedness to complete the HOT (Chemical HAZMAT Response Course) course and the HERT (Hospital Emergency Response Team) course as part of the annual proficiencies and team building experience. Hands on Pre-Hospital DECON training and HAZMAT disaster response was completed with personnel from Chicago, NJ and NC.

5/2014 50 member OH-1 team footprint deployed to Frederick MD as contingency medical backup for the annual Peace Officers Memorial in Washington D.C.

07/2014 MOY (member of the year) Honors were bestowed to John Woycitzky EMT-P/Acting Deputy Commander 

11/2014 2 physicians from OH-1 deployed for the  Concert for Valor which was part of the Veterans Day celebration on the Mall in Washington D.C.