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State Medical Assistance Team (SMAT)

State Medical Assistance Teams

The ability for North Carolina to respond to the medical needs of those affected by natural and man-made disasters has greatly increased over the past five years.  During the past two decades, more than 3,100 deaths and 4,100 injuries have been reported due to acts of domestic terrorism.  Most notably were the attacks of September 11, 2001.  North Carolina has taken great strides in streamlining and improving its ability to respond to the medical needs of its citizens in order to be better prepared for unexpected emergencies of this nature.  The Capital RAC’s SMAT program is a part of North Carolina’s plan to improve disaster preparedness efforts. Numerous local, state, and regional agencies have collaborated to form a tiered system called the State Medical Response System (SMRS).

Four North Carolina agencies have joined efforts to focus on the treatment and response phase of natural and man-made disasters. These agencies include the North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NCOEMS); the North Carolina Division of Emergency Management (NCEM); and the North Carolina Division of Public Health - Office of Public Health Preparedness & Response (PHP&R). These agencies represent the core systems responsible for coordinating a disaster response, ensuring that treatment and prevention strategies are in place, and ensuring the appropriate levels of disease surveillance and medical preparedness.

The agencies have collaborated to develop the following tiered State Medical Response System (SMRS) plan:

Type I (State Level): State Medical Assistance Team I (SMAT I) or Special Operations Response Team (SORT) is a private, non-profit organization located in Winston-Salem.  This organization is a federally supported Disaster Medical Assistance Team (DMAT) that responds to events nationwide. The Type I initiative will expand the equipment and personnel of SORT, which  provides a dedicated set of equipment for response to incidences in North Carolina if federal committed resources are not available.

Type II (Regional Level): State Medical Assistance Team II (SMAT II) focuses on hospital-based capabilities (medical surgical capabilities). Each county and hospital in North Carolina is included in at least one of eight Regional Advisory Committees (RACs). One function of this committee is to create a Disaster Planning Committee (DPC) to facilitate the planning and communication of first responders and first receivers (hospitals) by developing a regional disaster plan to improve the utilization of information and resources during an actual event.  The SMAT program is hosted by each RAC.  This team is responsible for responding to the treatment and surge capacities needs for the region and State by providing mobile medical and decontamination resources in the event of a disaster.  Each team houses a standardized mobile package that includes the basic equipment needed for a response. These teams are primarily funded through the federal Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR).

Type III (Local Level): State Medical Assistance Team III (SMAT III), is county-based and often is the first to respond to an event.  These teams are pre-hospital disaster teams that are highly mobile and respond to the mass disaster and decontamination needs of its County and region. Each team houses a standardized mobile package that includes the basic equipment needed for a response. These teams are primarily funded through Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR). 

Other Collaborative Partners:

Duke Healthcare Preparedness Coalition

Eastern Healthcare Preparedness Coalition

Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition

Mountain Area Healthcare Preparedness Coalition

Mid Carolina Regional Healthcare Coalition

North Carolina State Regional Response Hazmat Teams (RRT)

Southeastern Healthcare Preparedness Region

Triad Healthcare Preparedness Coalition

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About SMAT 800

The CapRAC State Medical Assistance Team

The mission of the CapRAC SMAT (SMAT 800) is to assist local, regional and State efforts by providing medical care and resources to those in need through an effective, controlled, systematic process, reducing death and disability resulting from sudden or serious injury and illness caused by natural or man-made disasters.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the CapRAC SMAT or Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), please contact Janis Brown at janisbrown@wakemed.org .  To officially register for either team, all volunteers must create a profile in the NC Training, Exercise and Response Management System, TERMS. Please visit https://terms.ncem.org/TRS/home.do to create a profile and select organizations CapRAC SMAT II and CapRAC Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  The MRC is our base group of volunteers, while the SMAT serves as our registry for those that are interested in possible disaster deployments out-of-region or state.

Click here to access a printable list of frequently asked questions related to the CapRAC SMAT.