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Utah sends medical help to Texas

SALT LAKE CITY — A team of medical specialists from Utah has been deployed to Texas to assist in the response effort to Hurricane Harvey.  Utah’s DMAT-1 is a Disaster Medical Assistance Team.

Utah’s DMAT-1 is a Disaster Medical Assistance Team. They don’t have their assignment yet, but the team’s commander, Dr. Steven Bott says they most likely will be asked to help augment hospital staffs.

“Or hospital replacement, meaning setting up a tent field hospital outside of an incapacitated hospital, or setting up a field hospital in a football field someplace, or assisting with medical evacuation of hospitals that are incapacitated,” he said.

“Hopefully when we get down there we can provide the general medical needs people will be lacking because of the circumstances,” said team member Billi Tsuya, who is a physician assistant.

The team’s 36 members consist of physicians, nurses, paramedics, emergency medical technicians and other medical specialists. The unit is designed to be self-sufficient for 72 hours with supplies including food and medicine.

They expect their assignment to last two weeks, with help rotating in from other states’ teams.

A press release says the team’s primary mission is to supplement the medical needs in the areas heavily impacted by the hurricane. Utah’s team was formed ten years ago and until now, had never been deployed as a whole team.