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Regional Medical Response System (RMRS)/Healthcare Coalition Partners (HCC)

The Oklahoma State Department of Health (OSDH) is committed to maintaining and enhancing systems necessary to achieve state and local level public health and medical system emergency preparedness across Oklahoma.  Since 2002, OSDH has utilized emergency preparedness funding to develop an integrated emergency response system that spans the local, regional and state level.  The foundation of this system is built on joint planning with public, private and tribal response partners.  Available resources are leveraged whenever possible to maximize achievement of target capabilities, and a comprehensive training and exercise program is maintained to test and enhance emergency response plans at the local, regional and state level.

The Regional Medical Response System (RMRS) / Healthcare Coalition (HCC) was created by OSDH starting in 2005 to develop and coordinate RMRS/HCCs in each sub-state region of Oklahoma.  OSDH assigns primary responsibility for medical system emergency response coordination to RMRS/HCC during times of disaster.  RMRS/HCC operates a Medical Emergency Response Center (MERC) designed to serve as the RMRS/HCC emergency operations center during times of crisis.  The MERC functions as a component of the regional Multi-Agency Coordinating (MAC) system during emergencies that necessitate response coordination across multiple jurisdictions or counties within a sub-state region.  The OSDH Situation Room monitors and supports medical system response activities in all regions of the state.

View the schedule here

The Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s (ASPR) Hospital Preparedness Program (HPP) enables the healthcare delivery system to save lives during emergencies and disaster events that exceed the day-to-day capacity and capability of existing health and emergency response systems. HPP is the only source of federal funding for healthcare delivery system readiness, intended to improve patient outcomes, minimize the need for federal and supplemental state resources during emergencies, and enable rapid recovery.

HPP prepares the healthcare delivery system to save lives through the development of healthcare coalitions (HCCs) that incentivize diverse and often competitive healthcare organizations with differing priorities and objectives to work together. The HCCs in Oklahoma are administered through six coalitions guided by the Regional Medical Response Systems (RMRS), covering all eight regions in the state. Learn more by visiting the Oklahoma RMRS website.

For questions about the OSDH Hospital Preparedness Program, RMRS, or HCC, please call (405) 426-8600 or email

On September 12, 2006 the National Incident Management System (NIMS) Integration Center released the initial version of the NIMS Implementation Activities for Hospitals and Healthcare Systems, which identified specific implementation measures for healthcare organizations. The Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) required that participating hospitals complete Elements 7, 9, 10 and 11 by the end of FY 2006 (August 30, 2007).

On June 13, 2008 FEMA's Incident Management System Integration Division (formerly NIMS Integration Center) released a revised NIMS Implementation Objectives specific for Hospital and Healthcare Organizations.  These revised standards now include 14 objectives that healthcare organizations are encouraged to work toward in order to achieve NIMS compliance.  OSDH highly encourages healthcare entities to become NIMS compliant by following current NIMS Implementation Objectives for Healthcare, outlined by HHS ASPR in their NIMS Implementation Objectives for Healthcare.

The Emergency Management Institute (EMI), located at the National Emergency Training Center in Emmitsburg, MD, offers a broad range of NIMS-related training. Recommended NIMS-related, no cost, online courses include:

  • IS-100.b - (ICS 100) Introduction to Incident Command System
  • IS-200.b (ICS 200) ICS for Single Resources and Initial Action Incidents
  • IS-700.a National Incident Management System (NIMS), An Introduction
  • IS-702.a National Incident Management System (NIMS) Public Information Systems
  • IS-703.a NIMS Resource Management Course
  • IS-706 NIMS Intrastate Mutual Aid - An Introduction
  • IS-800.b National Response Framework, An Introduction
  • IS-2905 Coordinating Health and Social Services Recovery

ICS 300 course focuses on the Incident Command System (ICS) for supervisors in expanding incidents. ICS 300 outlines how the NIMS Command and Coordination component supports the management of expanding incidents as well as describes the incident management processes as prescribed by ICS. This course has a threaded activity that will give students the opportunity to practice implementing the incident management process and creating an Incident Action Plan (IAP) for a simulated expanding incident.

ICS 400 is intended for an audience of experienced responders and other senior emergency management personnel who may perform in a management capacity for major or complex incidents (Type 1 or Type 2 incidents). Large and complex incidents that require the application of area command don't happen often. Although this is an advanced ICS course, it is not intended to develop mastery of area command. The purpose of this course is to expose students to the concepts of utilizing area command in major and complex incidents.

ICS- 300 and ICS-400 are available through the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management and Homeland Security. Available courses can be found at the OK Office of Homeland Security Training Calendar webpage. For any questions related to NIMS/ICS, please go to or contact your local Regional Medical Response System (RMRS).

Interested in becoming an ICS instructor? Please visit the NIMS Instructor Program web page.   

HICS is an adapted version of ICS for use in the healthcare environment.  As intended in ICS, HICS is flexible so it can meet the needs of all hospital types in all locations with an all hazards approach.  Healthcare facilities are encouraged to adopt HICS principles to align with NIMS compliance and better manage incidents that could impact their operations.

HICS Resources

Medical surge is the ability to evaluate and care for a markedly increased volume of patients that exceeds normal operating capacity. Medical Surge requires building capacity and capability.

Surge Capacity is the ability to manage a sudden influx of patients and Surge Capability is the ability to manage patients requiring very specialized medical care. Surge Capability also includes special interventions in response to uncommon and resource intensive patient diagnoses to protect medical providers, other patients, and the integrity of the medical care facility.

The Regional Medical Response Systems (RMRS) and Healthcare Coalition (HCC) members plan and prepare both individually and collectively to better manage a medical surge situation with the intention of doing so without the assistance of state and federal entities. In situations where the need is beyond that of the HCC, planning efforts and strategies are considered and coordinated through HCCs and statewide partnerships to ensure the best possible outcome. OSDH, through local, state, federal, and tribal partnerships, is also continually working to improve plans and processes statewide to better prepare for a medical surge incident. If you have any questions or comments regarding Medical Surge planning efforts, please contact your RMRS or the OSDH Statewide Hospital Preparedness Program Coordinator at (405) 426-8600 or email

Contact Information

Mailing Address:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
Emergency Preparedness and Response Service
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave., Ste 1702
Oklahoma City, OK 73102-6406

Physical Location:
Oklahoma State Department of Health
123 Robert S. Kerr Ave. 16th Floor
Oklahoma City, OK 73102 

Phone: (405) 426-8600