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Disaster
Medical
Team

About AK-1

Alaska-1 Disaster Medical Assistance Team (AK-1 DMAT) is a Federally sponsored, local, volunteer-based response team to disasters. This Alaskan team is made up of volunteer doctors, nurses, physician assistants (PA), paramedics, EMT's, and non-medical support personnel.

Team members have been deployed to the 9-11 Ground Zero Recovery Efforts in New York City,  The Kosovo Refugee Process, and  Hurricane Katrina. We have also provided support during non-disaster situations including, the Anchorage 2000 Millennium celebrations, the Nike Games, Special Olympics World Winter Games and the 2006 winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City.

Tent HeaterAK-1 was first organized in 1997. AK-1 is one of only two teams in the system that maintain cold weather response capabilities. When deployed, this team will bring health professionals and support staff to assist in devastated areas. The team was assigned Level 1 status from the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) office of Emergency Preparedness (NDMS). With the creation of the Department of Homeland Security, and the reorganization of the NDMS under the Federal Emergency Management Agency, AK-1 has been assigned a Level 3 status.  On January 1st 2007 The NDMS was reassigned to back to the Public Health Service.



The National Disaster Medical System (NDMS) is a federally coordinated healthcare system and partnership of the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Defense, and Veterans Affairs. The purpose of the NDMS is to support State, local, Tribal and Territorial authorities following disasters and emergencies by supplementing health and medical systems and response capabilities. NDMS would also support the military and Veterans Health Administration health care systems in caring for combat casualties, should requirements exceed their capacity.
The Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, in its role as Coordinator of Emergency Support Function #8 (ESF-8), Public Health and Medical Services, of the National Response Framework, employs the NDMS to provide patient care, patient movement, and definitive care, as well as veterinary services, and fatality management support when requested by authorities from States, localities, Tribes and Territories, or other federal departments. Some common missions for NDMS include: augmenting a hospital in a disaster area to decompress the overtaxed emergency department; providing veterinary services to federal working animals during National Security Special Events, such as the Presidential Inauguration; and, supporting the National Transportation Safety Board and affected localities with fatality management services following major transportation disasters. Although NDMS is primarily a domestic disaster response capability, NDMS teams and personnel have also responded to disasters internationally, such as in Iraq and Haiti following devastating earthquakes.

There are over 70 Level  DMAT, and specialty teams in the system. NDMS is comprised of Disaster Medical Teams, Disaster Mortuary Teams (DMORT), Veterinary Medical Assistance Teams (DVAT), National Medical Response Teams (NMRT) and several specialty teams.

Water systemWhen activated, DMAT's are deployed to assist local emergency responders in providing medical care. Once on site, teams are equipped to be self-reliant for 72 hours and insure the safety and health of all team members while providing clinical care as needed. Treatment areas, power generation, radio communications, and personnel shelters can be established and maintained for up to two-weeks.  Recent changes to the system now allow for the deployment of  smaller 5 person "strike" teams that can be rapidly activated and deployed to areas of need.