Prior to being known as HEMS, health emergency management at BRTTH was handled by the hospital’s

Strategic Tactical Option for the Prevention of Disasters, Epidemics, Accidents and Trauma for Health

(S.T.O.P.D.E.A.T.H.) program in coordination with the Center for Health Development in Bicol (CHD-V). In 1997, a Disaster Management Unit was designated by the DOH Operation and Coordinating Center (DOH-OPCEN) with the mandate of monitoring, coordination and response to emergencies and disasters. It was also assigned the responsibility to establish linkages with other agencies concerned with emergencies and disasters like the Philippine Atmospheric, Geophysical, Astronomical Services Administration (PAG-ASA), Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (PHIVOLCS) and the Department for Social Welfare and Development (DSWD). Finally, in the latter part of 1999, the Health Emergency Management Staff (HEMS) was established under the DOH Re-Engineering Scheme (A.O. 102).

The emergency and disaster response programs conducted by the Bicol Regional Training and Teaching Hospital, including that of BRTTH– Health Emergency Management Staff, are based upon A.O 168 s. 2004“National Policy on Health Emergencies and Disasters” implemented by the Department of Health on September 9, 2004. The general objective is to formulate and implement a national policy framework for emergencies and disasters for the Health Sector in order to decrease mortality and morbidity, promote physical and mental health as well as prevent injury and disability on the part of both victims and responders. As such, the specific objectives for BRTTH-HEMS had been identified as follows: a) Observe all the requirements and standards needed to respond to emergencies and disasters (hospital emergency plan, HEICS, Code Alert etc.), b) ensure enhancement of their facilities to respond to the needs of the communities especially during emergencies, c) network with other hospitals in the area to optimize resources and coordinate transferring of victims to the appropriate facility, and d) report all health emergencies to the operation center; document all incident responded.

24/7 Operation Center

The Operation Center (OpCen) is an integral component of BRTTH-HEMS as it serves as its command, control, coordination and information arm for any health-related emergencies that require hospital intervention. Since its establishment, it was complimented by the active support from its institution through provision of its facility and equipment.

It is dedicated to be fully functional 24-hour a day, 7 days a week, including holidays, to respond promptly to emergencies and disasters. It is manned and operated by trained staffs and accredited Nurse/Emergency Medical Technicians as well as ambulance facility.