New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team to Help out at Salt Lake City Olympics

Five members of the New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team are headed to Salt Lake City to provide medical care where needed for the 2002 Winter Olympics. The team departs Albuquerque on February 14 and will return on the 25th.

At the request of the FBI and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), one physician, two paramedics, one nurse and one emergency medical technician will be deployed from the NMDMAT. They will join about 30 other teams at Olympic event sites.

Cameron Crandall, M.D., an emergency room physician at UNMH; paramedics Lew Suber and Mike Foster; Apryl Keaty, a nurse from Lubbock, and Matt Braun, an EMT-I, will make up the five-member team. In addition, the leader of the team's communications section Carl Berghofer, is also deploying to Salt Lake City as part of the federal government's emergency communications system.

A thirty-member team from New Mexico was deployed to New York City last fall to provide medical services at the World Trade Center site. The team, which is regarded as one of the best in the country, has also been deployed to provide care to victims of hurricanes in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Florida, Hawaii and Houston; earthquake victims in Los Angeles; after the Cerro Grande fire in Los Alamos; and assisted in a relief effort to aid Kosovo refugees. A number of members of the NM team were also deployed to the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta as part of a similar preparedness effort.

The New Mexico DMAT one of the three largest in the county -- is made up of volunteer nurses, physicians, emergency medical technicians, paramedics, pharmacists and logistics and communications specialists from around the state who train to give urgent medical care at the scene of medical disasters.

DMAT is based at the UNM Health Sciences Center and is sponsored by the UNM School of Medicine's Emergency Medicine Department.
Contact: HSC Public Affairs, 272-3322

Related Stories