Disaster Medical Services Preparedness and Response Description

The EMS Authority, as the lead agency responsible for coordinating California’s medical response to disasters, provides medical resources to local governments in support of their disaster response. This may include the identification, acquisition and deployment of medical supplies and personnel from unaffected regions of the state to meet the needs of disaster victims. Response activities may also include arranging for evacuation of injured victims to hospitals in areas/regions not impacted by a disaster. The medical response to disasters requires the contributions of many agencies. The EMS Authority works closely with the California Governor’s Office of Emergency Services (Cal OES), California National Guard (CNG), California Department of Public Health (CDPH) and other local, state, and federal agencies to improve disaster preparedness and response. The EMS Authority also works closely with the private sector: hospitals, ambulance companies, and medical supply vendors.

Responsibilities for disaster medical services preparedness and response include the following:

  • Development and maintenance of disaster medical response plans, policies and procedures, such as the Public Health and Medical Emergency Operations Manual (EOM) (pdf)
  • Provision of guidance and technical assistance to Local EMS Agencies, county health departments, and hospitals for the development of local disaster medical plans, policies and procedures;
  • Enhancement of State and local disaster medical response capabilities through the development of civilian disaster medical response teams , known as California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MATs), response management teams, disaster medical communications systems, and a statewide medical mutual aid system;
  • Testing disaster medical response plans through periodic exercises with local, state, and federal agencies and the private sector; and Management of California’s medical response to a disaster.
  • (The remainder of this EMS Authority description can be found at the EMSA Homepage.)