Representatives from Wright State University and the city of Fairborn, along with government officials and area business and military leaders, gathered at the site of the former CEMEX facility in Fairborn today to mark the groundbreaking for the National Center for Medical Readiness Tactical Laboratory (NCMR-TL) at Calamityville.
Developed by the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine's Department of Emergency Medicine, the National Center for Medical Readiness is a Wright State Center of Excellence that provides training and education, research, a product development test-bed and commercialization opportunities that integrate medicine with disaster response. Calamityville will be the site of the NCMR's new tactical laboratory.
The global building materials company CEMEX donated the facility and surrounding 54-acre property to Fairborn in June to serve as the future site of the NCMR-TL. The Ohio Department of Development announced in May that it will grant Fairborn $2.8 million to clean up the brownfield site in anticipation of this project. Wright State University will provide $900,000 in matching funds.
The project has garnered more than $13 million in state and federal support to fund the Phase I development of the NCMR-TL, a state-of-the-art, collaborative training and research facility that will provide one-of-a-kind training opportunities for the world's medical, public health, public safety and civilian and military disaster-response decision-makers.
"The NCMR-TL will create a significant and sustainable economic impact on Fairborn, the surrounding Dayton region and the state of Ohio," said David R. Hopkins, P.E.D., president of Wright State University. "We estimate that over a five-year period the Tactical Lab, once fully functioning, will generate a direct and indirect economic impact of $374 million to the Dayton region. Wright State University and the Boonshoft School of Medicine serve as a major catalyst for economic growth in our region. This project is one more example of our commitment to serving the community.
Planners estimate that training courses will bring in more than $4.3 million annually, and as a test-bed for commercial product research and development, the laboratory will generate additional revenues of more than $2 million annually. The NCMR-TL will directly and indirectly create approximately 35 new jobs, and construction will create another 344 jobs. In addition, the tactical lab will increase tourism and overnight stays in the region, increase sales and income tax revenues and provide opportunities for the establishment and expansion of local business ventures.
"The Fairborn community values and is proud to support Wright State University and the National Center for Medical Readiness Tactical Laboratory at Calamityville," said Gary Woodward, mayor of Fairborn. "Our community will gain substantial benefits now and in the future through this effort, including cleanup and revitalization of an abandoned brownfield site in the city, the addition of future new jobs for the area, the beginning of a new leading-edge homeland security training facility in our region and the multiplier effect of the need for more goods and services to support this major effort in Fairborn.
After cleanup and renovation, the site, consisting of a large administrative building, workshops, warehouses and silos, will become Calamityville, the home of the NCMR-TL. Calamityville will feature realistic mockups of disaster situations, including confined space, submersion, elevated platforms, wilderness, rubble piles and transportation mishaps, as well as a simulated hospital. The site's existing facilities, including the silos and underground tunnels, offer a real-world training and research environment that will provide high-quality training programs and relevant solutions to emergency medical challenges, including:
- Gaining access to the trapped and missing
- Providing the highest level of medical or fatality care possible in the most austere of environments
- Evacuating patients in the safest and most effective manner possible
- Interacting with receiving medical sites for long-term care and recovery
"As a training tool and research test-bed, the tactical laboratory at Calamityville will prepare the civilian and military medical communities to participate and react effectively with traditional disaster responders," said Glenn Hamilton, M.D., director of NCMR-TL and professor of emergency medicine at the WSU Boonshoft School of Medicine. "This will provide a more complete approach to finding patients, offering initial care and safely evacuating them from disaster sites. The tactical laboratory will be the first site in the United States to fully integrate the civilian and military medical and non-medical responses that occur in a disaster or other complex rescue situation."
The NCMR-TL will be particularly important as the Base Re-Alignment Commission (BRAC) transfers the United States Air Force School of Aerospace Medicine (USAFSAM) to Wright-Patterson Air Force Base. The tactical laboratory offers a unique opportunity for traditional Air Force education and training courses to be translated and transferred to the civilian medical and first responder communities. The National Center for Medical Readiness will become an educational bridge between the civilian and military worlds and offer students a more complete learning experience.
The initial site cleanup is expected to be completed by early 2010. This will allow Wright State University to renovate and build the first phase of the tactical laboratory, including a learning center. NCMR-TL officials plan to offer the first courses at the new site in 2010. Phase II will include additional props and a water feature, and Phase III will add a state-of-the-art hospital/student center. Phase II and III will commence once funding is in place.
The NCMR-TL was made possible with the support of CEMEX, the city of Fairborn, the Clean Ohio Revitalization Fund, the Dayton Development Coalition, the Department of Defense/U.S. Air Force, the state of Ohio, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Brownfields Program, Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, Wright State University, the Boonshoft School of Medicine and a coalition of state and federal legislators including former Ohio House Speaker, now state Sen. Jon Husted, former state Rep. Kevin DeWine, U.S. Rep. (Ret.) Dave Hobson, U.S. Rep. Steve Austria, state Sen. Chris Widener and U.S. Senators Sherrod Brown and George Voinovich.