David A. Miramontes, M.D., assistant clinical professor of the School of Health Professions Department of Emergency Health Sciences and medical director of the San Antonio Fire Department, was deployed to the Louisiana flooding in August as part of his duty with the National Disaster Medical System (NDMS), a part of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
The primary mission of NDMS is to coordinate the federal government’s medical services in the event of a major emergency or tragedy. Dr. Miramontes has served on NDMS’ Disaster Medical Assistance Team as a senior medical officer since 1998.
“We all serve our country in different ways,” he said. “This is my service to our county—(providing) medicine for patients in need of care.”
The federal medical team is made up of nurses, paramedics, administration and safety officers providing medical support at a Federal Medical Station. The medical posts are government operated shelters providing clinical beds for patients’ with chronic medical and nursing care managing physical and medical needs until the patient can be transferred to a more stable environment.
Dr. Miramontes’ prior deployments include New York after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, Guam after Typhoon Ponsonga, after Hurricane Gustav in 2008 and as chief medical/safety officer for the Haiti Disaster Mortuary Support Mission.