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[IDHS] Indiana Portable Mortuary Unit Conducts Drill
Start Date: 9/5/2013Start Time: 12:00 AM
End Date: 9/5/2013End Time: 11:59 PM
Entry Description
Indiana Portable Mortuary Unit Conducts Drill

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security conducted a drill to set up and check equipment for the Indiana Disaster Portable Mortuary Unit (I-DPMU) Thursday, September 5 at Camp Atterbury.

The Indiana Disaster Portable Mortuary Unit is a deployable resource sponsored by the Indiana Department of Homeland Security, designed to provide assistance during local disaster response, specifically during a mass casualty incident. The mission of the unit is to respond and help local authorities in the identification and return of disaster victims to their families as quickly as possible, and with sensitivity and dignity toward loved ones.

“This is a resource we hope is never used,” said John Erickson with IDHS. “We practice setting up this equipment to make sure we’re as capable as possible, but we hope never to deploy this asset. In a response situation, this team would work for a local coroner, and provide assistance in the identification of remains with the different methods.” Those methods include photography, X-ray, DNA, fingerprinting and dental records.

This resource may be requested through a county emergency management agency (EMA) anytime the local fatality management infrastructure, or coroner, is overwhelmed; such as during a mass casualty incident.

Once a deployment has been approved, the goal is to have the unit fully operational, anywhere in the state within 24 hours. Once on site, the goal is to set up and have the unit running in four hours. The IDHS team that manages the unit is about 40 people.

The I-DPMU team is responsible for setting up and managing the cache of equipment and supplies. This team is also responsible for the logistical needs and requirements of personnel working in the I-DPMU.

The Indiana Mortuary Emergency Response Team (I-MERT) is the professionals who operate the identification equipment. This team is composed of funeral directors, medical examiners, coroners, pathologists, forensic anthropologists, medical records technicians and transcribers, finger print specialists, forensic odontologists, dental assistants, x-ray technicians, mental health specialists, computer professionals, administrative support staff, and security and investigative personnel.

The overall mission of the I-DPMU and the I-MERT is to set up, maintain and staff the I-DPMU to assist local authorities in the identification and return of disaster victims to their families as quickly as possible and to do so with dignity for loved ones.

-30-

Media Contact:
IDHS public information officer on duty at 317-234-6713 or pio@dhs.in.gov
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Entry Type:
Press Release
Entry Category:
  • Announcements
  • IN.gov Category:
  • Public Safety
  • Agency Name
    Homeland Security, Indiana Department of

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