Metrolina SMAT 2015 Year in Review and 2016 Preview
With the busy lives that we all have, it is hard to stop and appreciate all the hard work and effort we put into something. February 11th allowed SMAT Volunteers and their families to be recognized for their dedication to the Metrolina SMAT. The Volunteers that serve with the Metrolina SMAT are the heart and soul of our program, contributing over 1,142 hours of their time volunteering, which was approximately $24, 550 worth of in-kind donations!
Participants were honored with dinner and commemorative challenge coins, completed with the new SMAT logo. During dinner, the volunteers were shown a presentation of all the fantastic accomplishments they had made over the past year. 2015 proved to be the Metrolina SMAT’s most engaging, with at least 10 events or deployments and a constant presence of volunteers throughout the warehouse. They participated in several special project groups including an education group and supply unit group. The volunteers that participated in these groups were able to help move the momentum of the Metrolina SMAT forward at an incredible pace by providing educational topics to be presented at monthly meetings and implementing a new inventory rotations process through the warehouse.
In addition to the changes being made within the warehouse, volunteers participated in numerous local events that supported healthcare in the Metrolina community. January and February brought winter storms that required several deployments of resources. Our volunteers were there to help load and package cots, then check them back into service once they returned. May allowed volunteers to work hand-in-hand with Cabarrus EMS for the races at Charlotte Motor Speedway. During August and September, volunteers were trained how to triage flu patients over the phone and then utilized that training in a drill with Carolinas Poison Control Center. The Center was the only participating facility to use volunteers to staff their call centers!
This year, the Metrolina SMAT is continuing to grow into an organization that is influenced by its members and volunteers. Many volunteers have expressed an interest in taking on a volunteer leadership role and this year, Metrolina SMAT would like to establish a volunteer leadership structure built to support the team. We will also be working more closely with the Mountains and Triad regions in order to take the burden off any one team. It is also a great opportunity for the Metrolina SMAT to meet and feel comfortable working with their neighbors!
There are already several events that have been planned for the upcoming year and are great opportunities for volunteers to get hands-on time. March 26th and April 16th are two scheduled hands-on trainings at the MHPC Warehouse. The hands-on trainings last from 8am-4pm and are required for new members. In addition, veteran members that are interested in leadership positions should make every effort to attend a hands-on session (Sign up here). CPCC has asked the Metrolina SMAT to assist with at MCI Drill on April 2nd. It will give volunteers a chance to be live patients for new EMTs to triage and treat, as well as being able to demo our equipment. May is already a booked month for the Metrolina SMAT, as we have been asked to assist with Carolina Rebellion and both weekends of races at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
Finally, our biggest announcement! The Metrolina Healthcare Preparedness Coalition and Metrolina SMAT are moving, but only across the street. Our new warehouse is scheduled to be completed by Late Fall. Once the date is finalized, a plan and timeline will be announced. We will need all the help we can get moving and getting settled in the new place and we are counting on our volunteers!
We wouldn’t be able to do without our volunteers and from the bottom of our hearts, we want to say thank you for everything that you do for the Metrolina SMAT!