On Saturday, February the 20th, the National Disaster Life Support (NDLS) Foundation and its family of courses were honored at a formal ceremony convened during the national EMS State of the Science Conference when a prestigious national public service award was bestowed upon its founding members.
Specifically, the Ron J Anderson Public Service Award, which is given to those who "have implemented effective systems of care, education and science" in the realm of emergency medical services and disaster response,recognized the core founders of these courses, Paul Pepe, Richard Schwartz, Ray Swienton, Philip Coule, Scott Liilibridge and Cham Dallas, the original team who first formulated the initiative back in 2002.
Those original founders, acting on directives from representatives from the CDC, the office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) at the the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (and others), were based at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center (Dallas), the Medical College of Georgia (Augusta), the University
of Georgia and the School of Public Health at the University of Texas Sciences Center (Houston). Per federal directives at the time. they served as an academic consortium charged with the development of a "standardized, multi-disciplinary,interoperable, all-hazards" family of courses in the wake of 9/11 and the bioterrorism threats in the Fall of
Later evolving as the the NDLS Foundation (NDLSF) with its NDLS Educational Consortium (NDLSEC) team and corresponding approved training centers (both nationally and globally, the program has now trained more than 120,000 health care providers worldwide and the NDLS family of courses are now officially recognized by professional organizations such as the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) as the"gold standard" for training health professionals in disaster medical response and all-hazards preparedness.
During the announcement of the award, presented by Dr. Jim Augustine, a member of the Board of Directors of ACEP and Dr. Craig Manifold, Chair of the ACEP EMS Committee (doing so on behalf of nearly 1,000 attendees), it was cited that all of the original founders honored still serve in a leadership role for the NDLSF and that their ongoing "labors of love"
have, in great part, allowed this initiative to persevere, not only as the gold standard in public health threat training, but also as an on-going legacy of public service to the nation and others in need across the globe.