Who We Are
The MAHPC SMAT and MRMRC is a multidisciplinary volunteer team of medical and nonmedical professionals, established to provide mobile medical support for short and long term disasters or catastrophic events. Roles in which the MAHPC SMAT/MRMRC can provide support include set up and provision of a mobile field treatment facility, regional and state logistics support, and community alternate care site support. The MAHPC SMAT/MRMRC is based in Flat Rock, North Carolina and is coordinated by the Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coalition. MAHPC receives administrative and financial guidance from Mission Health System. Funding for the MAHPC SMAT is provided through a federal grant from the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response’s Healthcare Preparedness Program. Funding and support is also provided by the Division of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), allowing MAHPC SMAT and MRMRC members to participate in unit activities interchangeably.
North Carolina State Medical Response System (SMRS)
In 2002, SMRS developed a system of State Medical Assistance Teams (SMAT). Clinical considerations for patients included the consequences of bioterrorism and weapons of mass destruction (WMD). Recognizing the need to increase medical surge capacity, local, regional, and state agencies in North Carolina concentrated their efforts on developing this important emergency response capacity. The SMAT framework focused on the development of hospital, EMS, and fire department-based teams capable of providing medical decontamination, medical triage, emergency medical treatment, and medical surge capacity in hospital and field settings. This framework identified three tiers of SMATs. These tiers were identified as SMAT I, SMAT II, and SMAT III.
- The SMAT I is a State-level response entity that manages the Mobile Disaster Hospital (MDH). The MDH is owned by the state of North Carolina, and is an asset that has generally all of the capabilities found in a typical community hospital. The MDH has a primary mission to support North Carolina, but can be deployed to any disaster site across the country.
- SMAT IIs are region-level response entities that were developed within each Region. Their mission is to provide rapid mass casualty medical management services during human-made or natural disasters.
- 30 SMAT IIIs were developed in various county EMS systems across the state, with a focus on improving local decontamination and triage capabilities. The MAHPC region is home to five such teams (Buncombe, Cherokee, Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians, Henderson, McDowell).