Philippine Consul General to send off CMAT Assessment team, Wednesday for Philippines.

The CMAT Assessment Team is departing Wednesday for the Philippines.

The CMAT Assessment Team is departing Wednesday for the Philippines.


VANCOUVER  – CMAT will be deploying its initial disaster assessment team on Wednesday to respond to Typhoon Haiyan, which struck the Philippines late last week.  An emergency appeal for donations has been launched to help the people of the Philippines, after the catastrophic Typhoon struck the region on November 8, 2013. Several thousand people are estimated to have perished, and numbers are expected to climb.

The organization is also making an emergency appeal for donations to help the people of the Philippines. The Philippine Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) estimates 11.3 million people are affected by Typhoon Haiyan (locally known as Yolanda). A total of 673,042 people remain displaced (367,744 people in 1,217 evacuation centres and 305,298 people outside the centres).

On Wednesday morning at 10am, Consul General Mr. Neil Frank R. Ferrer is expected to meet and greet the CMAT Rapid Assessment Team, as they gather at Vancouver International Airport to check for their flight bound for the Philippines.

The Air Canada Foundation has generously donated the flights for the four CMAT assessment team members.

The Rapid Assessment Team will conduct a needs assessment on the island of Leyte and its environs, to ascertain the level of devastation, destroyed infrastructure, and health needs of cyclone- affected persons, in order to prepare for the potential deployment of CMAT’s inflatable field hospital and volunteer medical personnel.

Canadian Medical Assistance Teams (CMAT) is a grassroots disaster relief organization comprised of 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 2004 Indian Ocean Tsunami, and earthquake ravaged Kashmir, Pakistan (2005) and Haiti (2010). CMAT has accumulated a database of nearly one thousand volunteer health care professionals from across Canada. All are volunteers who foot their own travel bills.

The Consul General of the Philippines, Mr. Neil Frank R. Ferrer, will meet with senior CMAT Board members, as well as the Rapid Assessment Team, which consists of:

  • Deb Exelby; Advanced Care Paramedic and CMAT Secretary/Treasurer from Victoria, BC.
  • Martin Metz; Primary Care Paramedic from Comox, BC.
  • Marty Rodruigez Quintia, Registered Nurse from Mississauga, ON.
  • Valerie Rzepka: Registered Nurse and CMAT Executive Director from Toronto, ON.

Volunteering in the Philippines with CMAT

We thank all interested individuals for their overwhelming offer to volunteer with our organization. At the present time, we are awaiting the findings of the assessment team, in order to make the decision to deploy the first medical team. These findings are key in building the professional profile of our teams of volunteers, as well as to decide the most appropriate equipment and supplies so send to the area.

Minimum Requirements for Volunteering: (Medical and Non-Medical Volunteers)

*A preference will be given to volunteers with disaster experience, and training in Sphere Minimum Standards for Humanitarian Response. (a course is being offered this weekend November 16-17, 2013 in Toronto. Visit the CMAT website to register)

– Canadian Passport with minimum 6 months left from expiry.

– Medical volunteers must provide proof of Canadian Professional Registration or Licensure.

– A minimum availability of 3 weeks duration

– Willingness and ability to fund their own travel (fundraising is encouraged through our website, and volunteers can be recognized by submitting their name “in honour” during the donation process).

– An understanding that this is a hardship mission, and will be exhausting.

– Interested volunteers are encouraged to visit the Canadian Government’s Travel Health website to ensure your vaccinations are up to date.

At this time we must stress that no firm decision has been made with regards to deployment of additional medical teams, although CMAT this possibility may be confirmed  within a few days. We understand that many of you are eager to assist with this catastrophic disaster and we thank you for your outpouring of support. While we await word from our assessment team there is still plenty you can do to help in the predeployment phase;

1. If you have interest in deploying, please send the following information to [email protected]

  • Full Name,
  • Sex,
  • Profession (including department),
  • City, Province
  • DOB,
  • Passport #,
  • Passport expiry,
  • Contact phone #,
  • Emergency Contact info
  • Relevant prior experience (e.g. prior disaster relief work, CMAT deployments, Sphere training), and
  • Availability.

2. Urge your friends, co-workers and family to visit our website and donate generously. CMAT is also accepting donations of Aeroplan Miles.

We are considering the possibility of the following deployment dates:

  • Team 1 from November 17 – Dec 8,
  • Team 2 from Dec 5-22

Please note that that these dates are subject to change and are not confirmed, pending findings of the Assessment team.