CMAT Assessment, K9 and USAR Teams departing; PRELIMINARY call for volunteers and Appeal for donations


EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FORMVANCOUVER – CMAT will be deploying its initial disaster assessment team in collaboration with members a British Columbia Canine and Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) team on Monday, to respond to the earthquake which devastated Nepal early yesterday morning. An emergency appeal for donations has been launched on to help the people of Nepal,

The Rapid Assessment part of the Team will conduct a needs assessment in the devastated areas around the capital of Kathmandu, to ascertain the level of devastation, destroyed infrastructure, and health needs of earthquake – affected persons, in order to prepare for the potential deployment of CMAT’s inflatable field hospital and volunteer medical personnel.

The Urban Search and Rescue (USAR) part of the team will use electronic and mechanical technology to locate, rescue (extricate), and medically stabilize individuals trapped in confined spaces. It is considered a “multi-hazard” discipline, as it may be needed for a variety of emergencies or disasters, including earthquakes, hurricanes, typhoons, storms, tornadoes, and floods. The Canine Search part of the team (handler and canine) plays a critical role in structural collapse incidents. The canines locate survivors, using their incredible sense of smell to detect live human scent, even from a survivor buried deep in rubble.

Media are invited to meet with senior CMAT Board member Bill Coltart, and the CMAT Rapid Assessment Team, which consists of:

Dr. Pat San Agustin; Emergency Physician and CMAT Director from Edmonton, AB.
Michael Parker; Primary Care – Paramedic from Edmonton, AB.
Dr. Don Bethune; Emergency Physician from Calgary, AB
Kate Auger*; Emergency Nurse Practitioner and CMAT ViceChair from Collingwood, ON (team leader)
Brandon Duncan*: Registered Nurse from London, ON.
(*both Brandon and Kate are flying separately from Toronto)

Media are also invited to meet both human and canine members of the K9 Search and Rescue Team, which will be collaborating with CMAT in this response:

Mark Pullen, Canine Handler and Hunter, SAR Dog from Bowen Island, BC
Norm MacLeod, Canine Handler and Scribbles, SAR Dog from Mission, BC
Larry Watkinson, Canine Handler and Sammy**, SAR Dog from Mission, BC (**pictured below)
Search and Rescue/ Firefighters from the Lower Mainland.
Date: Sunday, April 26, 2015
Time: 23:30pm PT – meet and greet, interview and photo opportunity.
Location: Vancouver International Airport, adjacent to Jade Canoe Sculpture

Preliminary Call for Volunteers
As the details of the destruction trickle in, CMAT it putting out a preliminary call for medical and non-medical volunteers. Depending on the findings of the assessment and USAR teams, CMAT may deploy its inflatable field hospital, and send rotations of teams. If you wish to express your interest in volunteering with CMAT, please register as a volunteer on our website at and complete the EXPRESSION OF INTEREST FORM, (download here) emailed to [email protected]. Please note that volunteers are responsible for the cost of their travel, deployment is NOT confirmed, and is entirely dependant on the findings of the assessment team.