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U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Disaster Medical Assistance Teams

National Disaster Medical System

NDMS Disaster Medical Assistance Teams provide high-quality rapid-response medical care when public health and medical emergencies overwhelm state, local, tribal, or territorial resources. In the aftermath of natural and technological disasters, acts of terrorism, and during disease outbreaks, DMAT members are on location protecting health and saving lives.  DMAT members also serve behind-the-scenes to provide medical support at national special security events like the inauguration.


DMAT

Highly adaptable, DMAT members are trained to fill a variety of impactful roles, from performing medical triage and emergency care to supporting infusion centers and vaccine sites to decompressing hospital emergency rooms to supporting patient movement and more.

DMAT members work together tirelessly, frequently in austere conditions, to provide medical care and support when it is needed most.


DMAT team members include

  • Advanced clinicians (nurse practitioners/physician assistants) 
  • Physicians, medical officers 
  • Registered nurses 
  • Respiratory therapists 
  • Paramedics (EMTs) 
  • Pharmacists 
  • Safety specialists 
  • Logistical specialists 
  • Information technologists 
  • Communication and administrative specialists

DMAT Capabilities

DMATs perform patient-care functions in a variety of mission scenarios based on the identified standards of care, including but not limited to:

  • Triage/Pre-Hospital Care:  Evaluating patients based on the seriousness of their illness or injuries to determine the most effective and efficient plan of care. 
  • General Emergency Medical Care: Providing care at least equal to the services of a basic hospital emergency department. 
  • General Medical Care: Providing primary care services where access to usual care is limited or unavailable. 
  • Hospital Decompression: Providing medical care within an existing hospital that has limited staff or is otherwise unable to provide adequate care to the number of people needing medical attention. 
  • Support of Patient Movement: Assessing, stabilizing, and preparing patients for transportation.
  • Mass Prophylaxis: Providing vaccinations or taking other actions to support disease control efforts.

  • This page last reviewed: May 10, 2021