Plans to make the Miami Valley home to a unique training, education, and research facility devoted to disaster response and medical readiness took an important step forward with the July announcement of a $2.7 million award from the U.S. Department of the Air Force’s (USAF) Air Force Research Laboratory.
The award will enhance collaboration between the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) and the medical school’s National Center for Medical Readiness (NCMR) by supporting the development of the NCMR Tactical Laboratory (NCMR-TL) at Calamityville®. The award also provides education, research, and development projects in disaster response and medical readiness.
USAFSAM, a component of the 711th Human Performance Wing headquartered at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, is moving to Wright-Patterson as part of the planned Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. The $2.7 million project will run for 30 months.
In total, the NCMR-TL project has garnered more than $13 million in state and federal funding to date, including a $2.8 million grant from the Ohio Department of Development’s (ODD) Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund (CORF). The CORF grant, awarded to the city of Fairborn, will cover the costs of removing contaminants from the proposed site of the new facility, a former CEMEX plant on Xenia Drive. CEMEX agreed in April to donate the property to the city if the CORF grant was approved, so the May 18 grant announcement by the ODD cleared the way for the land transfer on June 28. A groundbreaking ceremony for the new facility was held on September 28.
Glenn Hamilton, M.D., executive director of the NCMR and former chair of the emergency medicine department (1982-2009), said he hopes to hold classes at the new site in 2010 following the city’s cleanup efforts.
When the laboratory is complete, it is projected to have a regional economic impact of $374 million over the course of five years. The NCMR-TL will also directly and indirectly create approximately 35 new jobs and 344 construction jobs. The innovative education and research facility will support integrated, collaborative training for civilian and military medical, public health, public safety, and disaster response personnel. The NCMR-TL will combine traditional classrooms, offices, and laboratories with areas devoted to realistic, full-scale simulations of emergency scenarios such as natural disasters, terrorist attacks, and disease epidemics.