What We Do
The Metrolina SMAT is one of eight similar teams across North Carolina that are a part of the State Medical Response System (SMRS). The SMRS is coordinated by the Office of Emergency Medical Services in an effort to improve the State’s ability to respond to emergent events that impact healthcare. This volunteer-based team responds to impacted areas within the Metrolina Region, the State of NC, or within the Southeastern United States.
The SMAT program saw it first major response during Hurricane Katrina. Members of the Metrolina SMAT, and several other SMAT II’s and SMAT III’s, deployed to Waveland, Mississippi, with Carolina’s Med-1 to provide a mobile field hospital for the area. Other SMAT II members from across NC responded to Charlotte to assist with the reception of people and patients who had been evacuated from the Gulf area. The lessons learned from this response showed that equipment for mobile treatment facilities was needed to ensure NC could better support itself in the face of a similar event since NC is very prone to hurricanes. The result was the purchase and distribution of 8 Western Shelter Mobile Response Trailer Systems that included a 53’ trailer, which came with 6 Gate Keeper 19×35 tent systems each. The tent systems could be set up individually, or connected with each other, and included provisions for power, light, and HVAC. The trailer was also designed to double as staff billeting and a command post, and also carries the generator for the tent system. The teams also received beds, medical equipment, and supplies to establish a 40-bed treatment facility. Over the years each team has made additions and adjustments to its system, equipment, and supplies to improve their capabilities.
In August 2011, the Metrolina SMAT participated in the response to Hurricane Irene by supporting the medical needs of evacuees in a shelter near Greenville, NC. The Metrolina SMAT also provided Health and Medical support to the Charlotte area during the 2012 Democratic National Convention.
From a non-emergent perspective, the Metrolina SMAT has participated in or assisted with several local events or exercises. In many cases this included providing personnel, logistics, or both. Some of these events include:
- Lincoln County Apple Festival in 2009 and 2010
- Metrolina SMAT Deployment Exercise in 2011
- North Carolina SMRS Exercise in 2013
- Western NC NDMS Exercise in 2013
- North Carolina SMRS Exercise in 2014
- Tough Mudder Race in 2015
- Honor the Warriors Bike Event in 2015
- NASCAR Race Support in 2016
- Carolina Rebellion Support in 2016
Metrolina SMAT equipment is also frequently used to support regional healthcare facilities and providers during mass gatherings, facility maintenance or outages, or other situations.