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					NYC OCME Pandemic Influenza (PI) Surge Plan to Manage
In- And Out-of Hospital Deaths,
Preparedness Training for Funeral Directors




                        Acronym and Term Definition List

      •   AI              Avian Influenza
      •   BCP             Body Collection Point
      •   B-OCME          Borough Office of Chief Medical Examiner
      •   CDC             Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
      •   CIMS            Citywide Incident Management System
      •   COP             Common Operating Picture
      •   DDRP            Distributed Death Registration Process
      •   DHHS            Department of Health and Human Services
      •   DNA             Deoxyribonucleic acid
      •   DOA             Dead on Arrival
      •   DOC             Department of Correction
      •   DOD             Department of Defense
      •   DOHMH OC        DOHMH Operations Center
      •   DOH             Department of Health
      •   DOHMH           Department of Health and Mental Hygiene
      •   DPMU            Disaster Portable Mortuary Unit
      •   ED              Emergency Department
      •   EDRS            Electronic Death Registration System
      •   EMS             Emergency Medical Service
      •   EOC             Emergency Operations Center
      •   ESF             Emergency Support Function
      •   FAC             Family Assistance Center
      •   FD              Funeral Director
      •   FFDM            Fixed Facility Disaster Mortuary
      •   GNYHA           Greater New York Hospital Association
      •   HCF             Health Care Facilities
      •   HERDS           Health Emergency Response Data System
      •   HHC             Health and Hospital Corporation
      •   HIC             Hospital Incident Command
      •   HPAI            High Pathogenic Avian Influenza
      •   HRP             Human Remains Pouch
      •   IAP             Incident Action Plan
      •   JIT             Just-in-Time
      •   MA              Mortuary Affairs
      •   METT            Medical Examiner Transport Team
      •   MFM             Mass Fatality Management
      •   MLI             Medicolegal Death Investigator
      •   NOK             Next of Kin
      •   NYC             City of New York; New York City
      •   NYPD            New York Police Department
      •   NYS             New York State
      •   OCME            Office of Chief Medical Examiner
      •   OEM             Office of Emergency Management
      •   Op Period       Operational Period
      •   OSM             Off-site Mortuary
      •   PE              Personal Effects



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NYC OCME Pandemic Influenza (PI) Surge Plan to Manage
In- And Out-of Hospital Deaths,
Preparedness Training for Funeral Directors

        •   PI                  Pandemic Influenza
        •   PIO                 Public Information Officer
        •   PPE                 Personal Protective Equipment
        •   RRT                 Residential Recovery Team
        •   RSF                 Remains Storage Facility
        •   UCS                 Unified Command Structure
        •   UVIS                Unified Victim Identification System
        •   WHO                 World Health Organization
        •   WTC                 World Trade Center



Body Collection Point (BCP) - A temporary storage location used to expand health care facility
(HCF) mortuary capacity. BCPs are intended to provide temporary refrigerated storage of
remains until the OCME can recover decedents and process them appropriately. HCFs that
place decedents in a BCP are responsible for signing the death certificate, providing the OCME
with as much information as appropriate regarding the next of kin (NOK), creating a manifest of
those decedents placed in the BCP, and securing the site appropriately.

Body Collection Point Recovery Team (BCP RT) - The BCP RT consists of OCME personnel
who will pick up decedents at BCPs. The OCME, with the support of NYC Office of Emergency
Management (OEM), will coordinate logistical support through the Emergency Operation Center
(EOC), either to arrange to remove and replace the entire BCP or to empty it by recovering
individual decedents. The team transports decedents to the most appropriate Borough OCME (B-
OCME) office or Off-Site Mortuary (OSM), as appropriate. The Team will take into OCME custody
using a barcode tagging and tracking system.

Borough Office of Chief Medical Examiner (B-OCME): The B-OCME collectively represents
each OCME located in the five NYC boroughs: Bronx-OCME (BX-OCME), Brooklyn-OCME (K-
OCME), Queens-OCME (Q-OCME), Manhattan-OCME (M-OCME) and Staten Island-OCME (R-
OCME). B-OCMEs will establish command, control, and coordination for all OCME activities in
their borough. Specifically, B-OCMEs will manage their daily caseload, plus disaster cases
requiring further investigation or autopsy. B-OCMEs will report to the OCME Incident Commander
to synchronize their actions and obtain direction and resources.

City Burial or City-Directed Burial - Disposition managed by the OCME. The OCME is
responsible to manage in-the-ground burial of unidentified decedents, decedents who have been
identified but have not been claimed by the NOK, and decedents for whom the NOK does not
have the resources to administer final disposition.

CONEX Container - A type of refrigerated unit typically used to transport perishable items by an
ocean vessel.

Distributed Death Registration Process (DDRP) - This is a decentralized method used by the
Office of Vital Records, which is part of the Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s
(DOHMH’s) Bureau of Vital Statistics, to register death certificates and obtain burial/cremation
permits. DDRP entails posting Office of Vital Records staff at B-OCMEs and OSMs, or HCFs.
This is a backup method to support the community’s needs and is only intended to be used when
an electronic death registration system (EDRS) is not available.

Disaster Portable Mortuary Unit (DPMU) - The DPMU equipment supports both the
establishment of a portable mortuary established in a field setting and the expansion of our Fixed
Facility Disaster Mortuary (FFDM). A DPMU comes complete with equipment and supplies
necessary for performing a full external and internal examination (autopsy) and assessing



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NYC OCME Pandemic Influenza (PI) Surge Plan to Manage
In- And Out-of Hospital Deaths,
Preparedness Training for Funeral Directors

decedents’ identification by means of fingerprinting, photographing, x-raying the body, taking
dental x-rays, and gathering deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) samples. A DPMU can be used as a
whole unit or can be used in part to support limited mortuary operations such as DNA and
fingerprinting.

Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) - EDRS is a secure Internet application enabling
hospital and medical examiner staff to electronically submit death certificates to the Office of Vital
Records for registration. EDRS can also be used by funeral directors to check on the status of
registered death certificates and print burial/cremation/transportation permits at their funeral
home location. To establish the EDRS at your facility, contact the DOMHM EDRS Coordinator
Aleida Maldonado at (212) 788-4574 or edrs@health.nyc.gov.

Family Assistance Center (FAC) - A physical or virtual location where family and friends of
missing or dead loved ones go to interact with the City agencies. Types of services generally
include: grief counseling; childcare; religious support; facilitation of family needs such as hotel,
food, and transportation; medical examiner operations including ante-mortem data collection; and
notification of death to the NOK. Although FACs can differ from one another, the OCME’s role at
the FAC includes registering families, collecting ante-mortem data and records, and liaising with
medical and law enforcement authorities.


H5N1 Virus - A specific virus strain of influenza. The World Health Organization (WHO)
anticipates H5N1 will be the next virus to mutate and become transmissible between humans.

Health Care Facilities (HCF) - HCFs include public and private hospitals, nursing homes,
retirement facilities, prison health clinics, public health clinics, and mental health hospitals.

Medical Examiner Transport Team (METT) - A team of two or more individuals that recovers
decedents from HCFs and residential locations and transports them to the appropriate B-OCME
location.

Mortuary - The term mortuary is defined as the facility location where decedent internal and
external physical examinations occur, and in some instances includes decedent storage units.

Mortuary Affairs (MA) - Mortuary Affairs is synonymous with fatality management, which is a
general term referring to the provision of necessary care and disposition of missing and decedent
persons, including their PE. It is a term used by the Department of Defense (DOD) that
encompasses the search, recovery, evacuation, tracking, tentative and confirmatory identification,
processing, and temporary and/or final interment and/or re-interment of HR.

New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene (NYC DOHMH) Operations Center
(DOHMH OC) - An operations center established by the City of New York DOHMH during a
disaster event to maintain internal agency coordination. The DOHMH OC is activated during a PI
event to coordinate planning and response activities.

Off-Site Mortuary (OSM) - A temporary OCME facility where staff can process decedent
identification and perform an external examination. In some cases, an OSM may have a full
complement of equipment, supplies, and personnel to perform all aspects of an internal
examination/autopsy. The OCME primarily intends to establish OSMs in association with each B-
OCME.

Operational Period (Op Period) - A length of time instituted by the OEM and/or their own
agency during a disaster event to execute predetermined incident action plans (IAPs). During
each Op Period, which typically lasts 1, 2, 8, 12, or 24 hours, agency commanders identify and
execute key objectives. These agency objectives are generally coordinated with other agencies’


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NYC OCME Pandemic Influenza (PI) Surge Plan to Manage
In- And Out-of Hospital Deaths,
Preparedness Training for Funeral Directors

objectives so as to successfully mitigate the effects of a disaster. Typically, Op Periods are
shorter during initial occurrence of a disaster and grow longer as less complex coordination is
required.

Personal Effects (PE) - Property to include clothing, jewelry, wallets, or other items found on a
decedent’s body. Such items are often categorized as durable or non-durable items and are
often used to help identify casualties and decedents.

Point of Dispensing (POD) - A POD is a specific location where appropriate medical or trained
staff dispense medications to large numbers of people to prevent them from contracting a specific
infection, illness, or disease or to mitigate the spread of such an illness.

Residential Recovery Team (RRT) - An OCME recovery team made up of a medicolegal death
investigator (MLI) and two body handlers or a METT. This Team will investigate residential
deaths, recover decedents, and transport the decedents to the appropriate B-OCME. The Team
will tag and track decedents as appropriate using designated OCME methods.

Remains Storage Facility (RSF) - A temporary cold storage unit established at B-OCMEs and
OSM to enhance decedent and PE storage capacity. RSFs can be a refrigerated CONEX box,
18-wheel trailer, tent, or permanent facility.

Standard Precautions - Official guidance provided by public health agencies regarding basic
clothing health care workers must wear to protect themselves from cross-contamination of a
patient’s blood, body fluids, and/or respiratory droplets.

Unified Command Structure (UCS) - A method of coordinating multiple agency responses
during a disaster event that promotes command, control, communication and coordination.
During a PI event, NYC agencies will utilize a UCS to govern their activities.

Unified Victim Identification System (UVIS) - A database system used by 311 City operators,
New York Police Department (NYPD) and OCME to gather key information to facilitate compiling
an accurate list of missing persons and enhance missing persons’ investigation efforts during and
after disaster events. UVIS is also used by the OCME to track decedents, collect ante-mortem
information, and collect post-mortem findings to facilitate the identification process during a
disaster event.




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