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Victim Identification ​Center Team

National Disaster Medical System

After a fatality or mass casualty incident, members of the Victim Identification Center (VIC) team help communities and families find closure. VIC teams support local authorities in the aftermath of a natural or man-made disaster or public health emergency by helping to identify the victims and serving as a liaison to the victims’ families or other responsible parties in support of another NDMS team.

VIC team-member leaning over laptop

VIC team members include:

  • Information collection coordinators
  • Call center specialists
  • Interview specialists
  • Volunteer training specialists
  • Behavioral health specialists
  • VIC records coordinators
  • Dental and medical records acquisition specialists
  • Data entry specialists
  • Records management specialists
  • VIC documentation specialists

VIC Capabilities:

Often working in demanding conditions supporting local authorities and other NDMS teams, VIC team members focus on gathering vital details on individual fatalities to help families find closure so they can move forward and start the healing process.

VIC team members provide technical assistance and consultation on the collection and management of information and related issues concerning people who have lost their lives in a public health emergency or disaster. The VIC may be called on to perform a wide range of functions, such as:

  • Collecting dental records, fingerprints, medical records, DNA, and other ante-mortem data
  • Providing subject matter expertise in mass fatalities management and victim information procurement
  • Conducting interviews with family members to gather ante-mortem information, including DNA samples, to assist in identifying human remains
  • Training partners to appropriately gather the information required for victim identification during the family interview process
  • Coordinating and sharing data with morgue and forensic staff on a regular basis
  • Coordinating with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies by gathering ante-mortem data to facilitate victim identification and manage the missing persons list
  • Explaining the HIPAA Privacy Rule Exemption for Medical Examiners and Coroners (45 CFR 164.512(g)(1)) to the medical and dental providers of the victims to facilitate obtaining these records
  • Updating the Victim Identification Program (VIP) database
  • Coordinating the release of remains