The Center for Disaster Medicine provides disaster and emergency medical services to New Mexico and the United States, through specialized emergency medical care units and emergency planning activities.
Events such as the terrorists attacks of 2001, the hurricanes that battered coastal cities and the potential threat of pandemic influenza demonstrate the need for communities to be prepared to care for citizens. The UNM Center for Disaster Medicine supports several service programs:
- The New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team (NM-DMAT-1), which currently numbers 150 active members from New Mexico, Arizona, Colorado, and Texas. The DMAT can be deployed within 12 hours to provide emergency medical care to victims of disasters or other health emergencies anywhere in the United States. The New Mexico team was the first DMAT ever to be deployed and is a national leader in providing medical care for civilians in disaster situations.
- The Medicine Bow team, which currently employs 55 nurses and EMTs from Bernalillo, Sandoval, and Santa Fe counties. Medicine Bow provides stand-by emergency medical coverage for mass gatherings in New Mexico including the State Fair, large venue events such as musical concerts and cultural events, sporting events, and UNM ceremonies.
- Medical direction and pharmaceutical support for the FEMA Urban Search & Rescue team in New Mexico (New Mexico Task Force One). Urban search-and-rescue involves the location, rescue (extrication), and initial medical stabilization of victims trapped in confined spaces following natural disasters, explosions, or other hazardous events.
- Collaborative partnerships with the New Mexico Department of Health, the UNM Health Sciences Center and the City of Albuquerque to create and implement strategic plans for expanding New Mexico's health system capacity for responding to emergencies and disasters.
- The Albuquerque Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), a newly created volunteer organization of healthcare providers that is part of the U.S. Citizens Corps initiative. The MRC provided basic medical care for the evacuees from Hurricane Katrina who came to the Albuquerque Convention Center. The MRC works side-by-side with the Red Cross, and regularly participate in other community events such as vaccination clinics and first aid stations.