Disaster Medical Assistance Teams
A Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) is a group of professional and para-professional medical personnel designed to provide medical care during public health emergencies or National Security Special Events (NSSEs).
Teams are capable of performing a wide range of patient-care functions in a variety of mission scenarios, including but not limited to:
- primary, acute, stabilizing emergency care
- emergency department decompression
- inpatient care augmentation
- supporting patient movement
- stabilization and transfer of all patients including ill/injured and nursing home patients
- staffing casualty/patient collection points
- triage services
- mass prophylaxis
- medical site/shelter operations
DMATs are a response resource that incorporates scalable deployment configuration sizes with specific clinical, non-clinical and leadership personnel. DMAT team members include advanced clinicians (nurse practitioners/physician assistants), medical officers, registered nurses, respiratory therapists, paramedics, pharmacists, safety specialists, logistical specialists, information technologists, communication and administrative specialists.
DMATs deploy to disaster sites with sufficient supplies and equipment to sustain themselves for a period of 72 hours while providing medical care at a fixed or temporary medical care site. The personnel are typically activated for a period of two weeks.
The Best of Care in the Worst of Times
When disaster strikes, people need health professionals they can count on to protect health and augment healthcare systems to stabilize patients and save lives. Disasters like Hurricane Sandy, the tornadoes in Joplin, MO, and the flooding in Louisiana have shown that major disasters can overwhelm state, local, tribal and territorial resources. When that happens, the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is there to help fill in the gaps, supplementing health and medical systems and response capabilities.
NDMS professionals also serve behind the scenes at many large-scale national events, like the Presidential Inauguration, or Republican and Democratic National Conventions, where there is the potential need for a cadre of trained medical professionals to provide help when seconds count.
When NDMS is called into action at the request of state, local, tribal or territorial authorities or by other federal departments, these medical professionals provide patient care, patient movement, and definitive care; contribute veterinary services; furnish fatality management support; and more.