County to Acquire New Mobile Hospital for Disaster Response

The County of Los Angeles will soon have a new mobile hospital to provide support to local hospitals in the event of a large-scale disaster such as an earthquake, pandemic influenza, or bioterrorism incident, thanks to a Homeland Security grant accepted by the Board of Supervisors.

The $5,390,000 grant will allow the County’s Department of Health Services (DHS), through its Emergency Medical Services (EMS) Agency, to purchase a new Mobile Hospital, medical equipment for the hospital, a warehouse lease to house the hospital, and personal radiation equipment.

The mobile hospital system consists of a tractor-trailer facility and a tent facility. Each facility is self-contained and can be deployed independently of each other depending on the type and scale of the incident. The Tractor-Trailer Mobile Hospital Component consists of two 53-foot tractor-trailers, and will serve as the patient care facility, which includes two surgical suites and ten critical care beds. The Tent Structure Mobile Hospital Component is comprised of four 25-bed tent modules, and can be deployed as a 25-bed, 50-bed, or 100-bed facility. Each module is fully equipped with a heating and air-conditioning system, an electrical power distribution system with generator, folding patient cots and treatment beds, sanitation facilities, and a refrigerator.

DHS applied for the funds through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s 2006 Urban Areas Security Initiative (UASI) Grant program, which provides funding to address the unique equipment, training, planning and exercise needs of large urban areas. The grant process is being overseen by the California Office of Homeland Security.

This new mobile hospital and emergency equipment will greatly enhance our ability to respond to a natural disaster or an act of terrorism, said Supervisor Don Knabe. I applaud the Department of Health Services for working hard to secure these critical funds.