CMAT deploys initial assessment team to earthquake affected Concepción, Chile

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the Concepcion region of Chile.

An 8.8 magnitude earthquake devastated the Concepcion region of Chile.

Wednesday March 3, 2010 – TORONTO and VANCOUVER – In response to the Chilean government’s international appeal for aid, Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) will deploy its initial disaster assessment team to Concepción, Chile to conduct a needs assessment and ascertain the level of devastation, destroyed infrastructure and health needs of the quake affected people in preparation for the deployment of CMAT’s inflatable field hospital. A powerful 8.8 magnitude quake and ensuing tsunamis struck the area on February 27th, 2010. Over 700 people are confirmed dead, and countless others are injured.

On Thursday morning, the CMAT initial disaster assessment team will be departing from Vancouver International Airport en route to Chile.  Media are invited to meet and interview the departing team:

  • David Johnson: Team Leader, Search and Rescue Logistician from Vancouver, BC.
  • Chris Kaley, Paramedic and CMAT Board member from Squamish, BC.
  • Michael Lowey, Paramedic from Vancouver, BC.
  • Jennifer Dearman, Paramedic from Seattle-based partner IMAT

Team members Johnson and Kaley were also part of CMAT’s initial assessment team  in the quake affected regions of Haiti in mid-January and where CMAT continues its operations to date in the Léogâne region. Lowey is a paramedic who immigrated to Canada from Concepción, Chile in 2000.

Two Media Interview/Photo Opportunities are available:

Date: Thursday March 4, 2010
Time: 11:00 a.m.
Location: Vancouver International Airport, International Terminal near the Jade Canoe

Date: Thursday March 4, 2010
Time: 10:00 p.m.
Location: Pearson International Airport, Terminal 1 departures level, opposite Starbucks

Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) is a grassroots disaster relief organization comprised of volunteer medical professionals and non medical volunteers who selflessly give their time and resources to assist and provide relief aid to the victims of natural and man-made disasters around the world. CMAT teams have responded to numerous crisis situations including the Southeast Asian Tsunami, and earthquake ravaged Kashmir, Pakistan and Sichuan, China.

Most recently, CMAT responded to the devastating earthquake in Haiti, and continues to run its field operations in Léogâne. CMAT has accumulated a database over one thousand skilled health care professionals from across Canada.