Emergency Medical Team: Making a smooth operation

The deployment and work of Emergency Medical Team (EMT), national or international, is the core of emergency response to any disaster. Making the teams work in the most efficient way involves numerous elements, each with detailed list of steps to do, to ensure the safety and security of not only the persons being cared but also the members of the EMTs. 

Galvanizing the development of operational standards for EMT response, WHO Indonesia in collaboration with the Health Crisis Centre of the Ministry of Health of the Republic of Indonesia held Informal Consultation on Standardization and Coordination of Emergency Medical Teams in Indonesia in Jakarta, on 11-12 April 2017. 

“Coordination is extremely important because when a disaster happens and a lot of medical teams come, without good coordination there will be a second disaster,” opening the meeting, Secretary General of the Ministry of Health, Dr Untung Sutarjo.

(WHOIndonesia/Rokib Marhadi)

In emergencies like earthquake in Yogyakarta and Tsunami in Aceh, tens and even hundreds of medical teams flew from around the world to provide care to the affected communities. Each came with various numbers of team members, types of medical equipment, medical supplies, medical skills, and logistical supports. 

“We could objectively review that at times, the differences brought issues to the already overwhelmed authorities in the affected areas,” WHO Representative to Indonesia, Dr Jihane Tawilah, shared her  opening remarks. “Justifiably, any government expects an assurance of well trained and self-sufficient EMTs.”