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June 22, 1957


JAMA. 1957;164(8):876. doi:10.1001/jama.1957.02980080046010

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Physicians, nurses, and medical students in one Texas community have proved that even the best of emergency equipment and supplies are not enough, in themselves, to provide adequate civil defense. To help illustrate this fact, they managed to assemble one of two 200-bed emergency hospitals in only 55 minutes, claiming a new speed record (see this issue, page 889). But the feat took a lot of preplanning, including nearly four days to lay out the contents of all 256 separate cartons of supplies and equipment furnished by the Federal Civil Defense Administration, then repacking and re-storing everything in a trailer for quick assembly. It also took imagination and teamwork, the kind that counts when a major disaster strikes. In a few days, monitors of this first national exercise involving emergency hospital units are slated to report their experience in the hope that some 2,000 other communities banking on FCDA hospital

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