DMAT San Diego CA-4
A Level 1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team.
affiliated with the National Disaster Medical System
Co-Sponsored by: UCSD Medical Center & International Relief Teams
Mailing Address: 200 West Arbor Drive, San Diego, CA 92103-8676
DMAT CA-4 Information Line: 619-543-6216
eMail address of Newsletter Editor, Jake Jacoby:
DMAT CA-4 WEB site: http://www.dmatca4.org
February 2003 Newsletter
8 8 8 8 Volume 12, Number 2 8 8 8 8
Calendar Of Events..........................................Page 1
Commander's Log............................................Page 1
LAST CALL...................................................Page 2
Member of the Year .Michael Sohmer........................Page 3
Book Reviews ...................................................Page 4
In Memoriam -Dr. L. James Grold .............................Page 4
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Next Team meeting --
Wed., February 26, 2003 @ 1800 hrs.
Where? CA-4 Operations Center
8540 Production Avenue, Suite B, San Diego
Location is in Miramar Area, 1.8 miles E of I-805 exit at Miramar Rd. Turn
N on Production Avenue, 1/2 block on the left. (Remember, we have no mail box at the Ops Center, so never use this address
for mailing purposes)
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* "2003 Annual NDMS Conference," Reno Nevada, March 8-12, 2003. At the Reno Hilton.
web site: http://oep-ndms.dhhs.gov/NDMS%20 Conference/ conf2k3/conf2k3.html+-
8 8 8 8
Current issues at hand:
*Just as we arrived back from Guam, we received four pallets from Perry
Point. Three of them contain our newest items for the Basic Load:
The Cold weather package for our Western Shelter Tents. This includes an
external, diesel fuel-powered heating system, and insulated tent liners.
These would be taken with us and used for cold weather deployments. They
add around 2,000 pounds to our basic load. We will never get our load on
just 5 military pallets again. At least the issue of using open flame
kerosene heaters in an environment where high flow oxygen is being used,
is now resolved.
The fourth pallet contains basic medical supplies we were
short, based on our last inventory in March 2002.
We will need a Logistics Work Day to inventory the items and
reconfigure stored items at our Ops Center Warehouse, in time to be ready
for April 2002. Our logistics personnel have their work cut out for them,
and we may need your assistance in getting this job done over the next
* News from the NDMS Conference call, held on the first Thursday of every
even month: NDMS has already had several mission assignments since the
first of the year:
1) the State of the Union Address in January saw the PHS-1 team activated
for stand by;
2) The Avian Exotic Newcastle Disease Virus outbreak in LA and adjacent
Orange County, was well as in Las Vegas, has resulted in an agreement signed
between the Dept of Agriculture and NDMS, for medical personnel to be provided
to support the DOA field workers and administrative personnel. Three clinics
have been set up, one in Las Vegas, one in Los Alamitos, CA and one
in Colton, CA, CA-1 and CA-2 are staffing the clinics in Southern California,
and the new Nevada-1 team is staffing the clinic in Las Vegas. This will
be a long deployment, and our team may be asked to provide personnel
for such staffing. Thanks to those who have already stepped up and offered
to be on the schedule. Those still interested should contact me as soon
3) The loss of the Space Shuttle Columbia, STS-107, and its
7 astronauts, has resulted in activation of DMORT assets.
4) The Aadvancement of the Threat Level to ORANGE led to teams being placed on ALERT, in upstate New York, due to certain information in the hands of the Federal Government.
Planning for the attendance of as many as 25 CA-4 team members
at the Annual Conference of NDMS, in Reno, Nevada, continues. The following
is the current list of CA-4 members who have listed their intention to
attend the Annual Meeting, and will be partially funded up to a total $750.
per person, to help defray registration, hotel and airfare.
Dieffenbacher, Mona; Domino-Snyder,Valerie
Fitzgerald, Beverly; Hicks, Toni; Jacoby, Jake
Markland,Josephine; Ontiveros, Sara
Perkins, Chuck; Perkins, Peggy; Pregent,Susana
Prepas, Robbie; Reeves, Mark; Rogers, Ken
Ruiz, Sal; Snyder, Ed; Soderberry, Robbin
Sohmer, Michael; Spuhler, Kevin; Steinberg, Craig
Thoreson, Jack; van den Hout, Carla
Wahrenbrock, Zona; Welsh, Mary; Wood, James
Those on the above list should have hotel reservations made by now, as
well as airline tickets, and should have registered for the meeting.
Ten of you have been identified as having your registration already paid
for by Purchase Order, while the rest of you will need to charge or pay
for the meeting registration and apply for reimbursement. Make sure you
save your receipt for submission. Save ALL receipts , for hotel, and air
fare, and , if under $750. you can also submit for airport shuttle fare
in San Diego (again, save that receipt), or mileage to and from the airport.
In addition, 3 other members of our team have alternate sources of funding
and will also be attending:
Therese Rymer, Larry Griffin, and Deanna Polk.
*DMAT CA-4 Vaccination Clinics were held on Sat. and Sunday, Feb 15th and 16th, along with "Administrative Paperwork Clinics." Many thanks to Therese Rymer, Deputy CDR and Zona Wahrenbrock, Administrative Officer, who spent their weekend dealing with the admin
and immunization needs of our members. Overall, over a dozen team members
showed up for review of their immunization records and vaccines as needed.
For those who could not make it, please be sure to call Therese Rymer's
Office and make an appointment for review of your immunization records
and to get updates on those shots you need, if you are unable to get them
covered through your regular insurance. Thanks also to Carla van den Hout, who helped out throughout the day.
*Check out the reactivated DMAT CA-4 Web site. Go to www.dmatca4.org, and
see pictures from recent deployments. Thanks to our new webmaster, John Johnson. If you have ideas about what you would like to see on our web site, contact
John, his eMail link is on the web site.
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In order to be deployable, all members MUST have on file what is
called "Intermittent Appointment Paperwork." We have been collecting paperwork for what seems like years now, and the
deadline is now upon us. All final intermittent appointment paperwork must be sent in and received
by NDMS by February 28th. We will be Fed Ex'ing our final sets of paperwork on February 27th to
NDMS. There are still a number of members, many of whom have been relatively
inactive, or who have never deployed, who have still not completed the
packet of paperwork. How do you know if you are one of those? Well, individual letters went out to almost everyone whose paperwork is
not completed. Unless we hear from you, your entire NDMS file will
be moved to the "Archives of NDMS." We have no idea where that
is, but I suspect it is a box somewhere in a dark basement. With the move
of NDMS to Homeland Security, we have no idea where the archives will wind
up. We don't even know if NDMS will stay where they are, or move. So, if
you want to stay in the system, and not have to return your uniforms, and
still think you want to be deployed, you MUST contact our Administrative
officer by Feb. 26th and arrange to complete whatever paperwork is needed
to stay in the system.
Call Zona at 858-581-2858 and find out, or contact her by eMail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Here is a list of members, as of this writing,
who MUST get us their paperwork by the next meeting at the VERY LATEST:
Barsalou, Thea (couple items left)
De La Barra, Carlos
Griffin, Charles "Chip"
Grimes, Robert (resume, OF-612)
Van Hoesen, Karen
IF YOUR NAME IS ON THIS LIST, contact the team administrative officer,
or come early before the team meeting which starts at 6 PM on Wednesday,
Feb 26th , to update your paperwork. Without this paperwork, we will
be removing your name from our mailing list and your file will be entered
into an Archive file. Should you wish to reinstate your membership
in the future, you may still do so, but you will NOT be able to do it once
we are on ALERT or preparing for deployment. If you plan on completing
your intermittent appointment packet at the meeting, please be sure to
bring: copy of your resume; current professional license; Driver's License
and social security card; Passport if you have one; a voided check for
new direct deposit form, and a check for dues.
If you think your name is on this list in error, please also contact
Zona and let her know. She can check to see if we already have
your paperwork on file.
This may also be your last DMAT newsletter, too, if your dues
has not been paid up. if you wish to be a part our team, but not deploy,
please let us know as well, since the paperwork is for people who
either want to deploy, or who would want to be paid for work they do to
assist the team while getting ready for deployment, while working here
in San Diego. Also,anyone on the list for participation in the Ukraine
exercise MUST have their paperwork in order.
If you know people on this list, please contact them and let
them, whatis up right away, since some of the folks on this list
have moved and not given us their forwarding address, and may not have
been getting their newsletters or emails.
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DMAT San Diego CA-4 2002 VOLUNTEER OF THE YEAR Award
And the Winner is....Michael Sohmer
Michael Sohmer is a pharmacist. He works at the Sharp-Chula Vista Hospital.
He joined the team in 2001, and deployed for the first time with
CA-4 for Super Typhoon Pongsona, to Guam. But before that, Michael was
way out front with his efforts to assure our pharmaceutical basic load
would be ready for any next deployments.
He was a participant in Rough and Ready 2002 at the Orange
County Fair Grounds, and was actively involved with the antibiotic prophylaxis
scenario. He has been on the NDMS conference calls reviewing the pharmacy
basic load with Mark Gonitzky. He attended the training course over
last summer on the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS), in Aniston,
AL at the Noble Training Center, and contributed to the team patch
collection at the Ops Center, with the patch from the Center for Bioterrorism
Training at Aniston. He wrote updated protocols for both Cardinal and for
McKesson, and met with pharmacy representatives from co-sponsor UCSD Medical
Center, to make sure the paperwork and the phone numbers for emergency
contacts were current, and that every one knew how the system was
supposed to work. He identified a few snags, just in time for the Guam
activation, and thus when the call out occurred for Guam, we were definitely
ready. He supervised the inventory of the load when it arrived at
the DMAT Ops Center the night we were activated, and noticed that only
a quarter of the basic load was sent, enabling the correct full order to
be supplied, before we left. Only through his alertness and dedication
to doing the job were we able to have the correct pharmaceutical basic
He has also helped out on the new DMAT Ops Center computer,
and has demonstrated dedication to the team in so many ways. He is truly
deserving of this year's Volunteer Member of the Year Award. And he was
chosen by team vote. Congratulations to Michael. He will be recognized
on Sunday, March 9th, at the ceremony honoring the Volunteers of the Year
from each of the response teams in the NDMS System, in Reno, Nevada, at
the Annual Conference of NDMS. The ceremony will start at 5:30 PM.
ALL team members from CA-4 who are attending the meetings should be there
to show our support for CA-4 and for Michael.
1) Scourge: The Once and Future Threat of Smallpox, by Jonathan B.Tucker. New York: Atlantic Monthly Press, 2001. 291 pp.
2) Biohazard: The Chilling True Story of the Largest Covert Biological
Weapons Program in the World-Told from the Inside by the Man who Ran It, by Ken Alibek with Stephen Handelman. New York: Dell Publishing,
a Division of Random House, 1999. 319 pp.
If you read these two books, you are prepared for the Era of Bioterrorism.
The first, by an expert on biological and chemical weapons at the Monterey
Institute of International Studies, has degrees in biology and in political
science. The book covers the recorded history of smallpox, as well
as the politics of the WHO's successful worldwide conquest of smallpox.
Many questions I had wondered about were answered in this volume, such
as, "Where did vaccinica virus come from?" " What
is the relationship between the cowpox of Edward Jenner and the currently
used vaccine strains?" "Is vaccinia virus the same as cowpox
virus?" "If not, where did it come from?" "If liquid
vaccine had to be refrigerated, how was it able to conquer smallpox in
tropical countries?" ""What was the role of the Soviet
Union in the eradication of smallpox in the 60s and 70's?""How
long did the US Government actually know about the Soviet Smallpox weaponization
before it revealed it to the public?" If you know the answers to all
these questions, then you are already an expert and don't really need to
read this very readable book. If not, you will need to seek out this well-written
Alibek's book is a landmark. Until I read this, I had
only the New Yorker article from around 3 years ago to read about
the Soviet deceit. but the scale of it all was unimaginable. Does
ANYONE need 20 tons of weaponized smallpox virus? What were they
thinking? The lies and paranoia of the Soviet leadership are patent
and profound. They lied so much about the suspected evils of the
United States that they started to believe them themselves. The volume
exposes the pathological, delusional state that the USSR was. The author,
a Khazakstani whose original name was Kanatjan Alibekov, but whose
rise to leadership got him as far as being second in command at Biopreparat,
the facade that hid the greatest biological weapons research and
military program of all time, reveals the extent of the progress and the
size of the program that was in violation of the 1972 Biological Weapons
Convention at the moment it was signed. Alibek was motivated by the information
he was told, that the US in fact must be developing such weapons,
which therefore justified the Soviet program. However, after two decades
of progress in the USSR, and weaponization and mass production of
numerous biological agents, Alibek was astounded to learn, upon visiting
the US on an inspection tour, that in fact the US had kept its promise
to not develop bioweapons, all along, while they had covertly violated
it. Over 10,000 people were working on the program at one time, and
the sheer amount so f weaponized anthrax and smallpox are far greater than
even the intelligence establishment in the US suspected. After a series
of fascinating political turn, Alibek defected to the west in 1992,
and revealed all he knows about the programs. He now is a major consultant
to the US Government on biowarfare technology. Once you read this volume,
it will change your mind about the smallpox threat; it may
change your politics as well.
PS: if you only have time for one, read SCOURGE, as it does summarize some
of the key aspects of the Alibek book. albeit in a single chapter.
In Memoriam: Dr. L. James Grold
DMAT CA-4 announces the passing of team member L. James Grold. Jim specialized in psychopharmacology and psychotherapy for individuals,
couples and families. He graduated from Stanford University Medical
School and was appointed as a Fellow at the Menninger Foundation, where
he received his psychiatric training. He served as the medical director
of two psychiatric hospitals.
He volunteered his services as the medical director and psychiatric
consultant for 1-800-THERAPIST, a referral network, which he founded in
1979 to help individuals find competent therapists. 1-800-THERAPIST,
which has evolved into an international referral service and network, was
commended by the U.S. Congress for it's community service. This commendation
was published in the United States Congressional Record. 1-800-THERAPIST
has also received awards from other governmental agencies. He also volunteered
his services at a free mental health clinic and for NDMS. He participated
as a medical officer at times of national disasters, and, as a member of
DMAT CA-8, he deployed for duty following the Northridge Earthquake, and
for the Atlanta Olympics. DMAT CA-8 later merged with CA-4. He has
written and had published many articles and chapters in books on a variety
of psychiatric subjects. He was elected a Life Fellow in the American Psychiatric
Association and a Diplomate of the American College of Forensic Psychiatry.
Dr. Grold passed away on January 24th after a struggle against cancer.
He is survived by his wife Jan and 2 sons.
Irving "Jake" Jacoby, MD, FACP, FACEP
Team Leader, DMAT San Diego CA-4
Attending Physician, Dept. of Emergency Medicine, UCSD Medical Center,
San Diego, CA
Associate Director, UCSD Hyperbaric Medicine Center, San Diego, CA
Clinical Professor of Medicine, UCSD School of Medicine, La Jolla, CA
200 West Arbor Drive
San Diego, CA 92103-8676
DMAT CA-4 24 hour STATUS/Information Line: 619-543-6216