Veterans Health Administration's Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) Training Evaluation: Potential Implications for Disaster Health Care Volunteers. Academic Article uri icon


  • OBJECTIVE: The US Veterans Health Administration's Disaster Emergency Medical Personnel System (DEMPS) is a team of employee disaster response volunteers who provide clinical and non-clinical staffing assistance when local systems are overwhelmed. This study evaluated attitudes and recommendations of the DEMPS program to understand the impact of multi-modal training on volunteer perceptions. METHODS: DEMPS volunteers completed an electronic survey in 2012 (n=2120). Three training modes were evaluated: online, field exercise, and face-to-face. Measures included: "Training Satisfaction," "Attitudes about Training," "Continued Engagement in DEMPS." Data were analyzed using 2 and logistic regression. Open-ended questions were evaluated in a manner consistent with grounded theory methodology. RESULTS: Most respondents participated in DEMPS training (80%). Volunteers with multi-modal training who completed all 3 modes (14%) were significantly more likely to have positive attitudes about training, plan to continue as volunteers, and would recommend DEMPS to others (P-value<0.001). Some respondents requested additional interactive activities and suggested increased availability of training may improve volunteer engagement. CONCLUSIONS: A blended learning environment using multi-modal training methods, could enhance satisfaction and attitudes and possibly encourage continued engagement in DEMPS or similar programs. DEMPS training program modifications in 2015 expanded this blended learning approach through new interactive online learning opportunities. (Disaster Med Public Health Preparedness. 2018;12:744-751).

published proceedings

  • Disaster Med Public Health Prep

altmetric score

  • 0.75

author list (cited authors)

  • Schmitz, S., Radcliff, T. A., Chu, K., Smith, R. E., & Dobalian, A.

citation count

  • 2

complete list of authors

  • Schmitz, Susan||Radcliff, Tiffany A||Chu, Karen||Smith, Robert E||Dobalian, Aram

publication date

  • December 2018