In a continuing effort to enhance disaster response capabilities, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has launched a $6.7 million program that will speed the response capabilities of its Disaster Medical Assistance Teams (DMAT). This week trucks were delivered to DMAT teams in Florida, Michigan, Missouri, New Mexico and New York.
“We are so excited about providing our disaster medical teams with these new trucks and the positive effect it will have on their ability to deploy to a disaster,” said Michael Brown, Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Emergency Preparedness and Response. “These new trucks will help our medical teams respond to disasters within 12 hours.”
A total of 93 trucks will be delivered over the next year to 31 DMATs throughout the country. The trucks will be used to haul each team’s field tents, generators, medical equipment and supplies. Each team will also receive a specialized refrigerator truck to haul and store the sensitive pharmaceuticals used by the teams.
FEMA DMATs are part of the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), which is one of the resources brought to FEMA since the creation of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.
FEMA DMATs have recently responded to large-scale disasters, including the Florida hurricanes, The World Trade Center attack on Sept. 11, 2001, Hurricane Isabel in September 2003, and the Bam, Iran earthquake in December 2003. NDMS teams have also been deployed in 2004 to support the G8 Summit in Georgia, the National Democratic Convention in Boston and the Republican National Convention in New York.
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