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Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

We support the World Health Organisation Emergency Medical Teams Initiative through our research and training development project.

Global Emergency Medical Teams (EMT)

The World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Medical Teams (EMT) Initiative

After the Haiti earthquake in Jan 2010, the WHO Pan America Health Organisation (PAHO) and partners convened the first meeting on Emergency Medical Team ("Foreign Medical Teams" at that time) in Cuba to discuss the Haiti response and concluded the need to set standards and a coordination mechanism for EMT. That was the start of the initiative.


In 2013, WHO issued the Classification and Minimum Standards for Emergency Medical Teams (the “Blue Book”) in sudden-onset disasters such as earthquakes and typhoons. These guidelines outline principles and set forth core standards for how registered EMTs must function. The "Blue Book" was used for Typhoon Haiyan operation in 2013 for the first time. Since 2016, the WHO has been registering and verifying qualified EMTs. According to the WHO, over 70 EMTs from over 30 countries have since registered and is in the progress of documentary review from the WHO secretariat with nearly 20 EMTs successfully classified.


For more detailed timeline of the development of the WHO EMT Initiative, please head to the WHO EMT Initiative Historical Timeline. For more information on the WHO EMT Initiative, please head to the WHO EMT Initiative Extranet.


“Training and Research Development for Emergency Medical Teams with Reference to the WHO Global Emergency Medical Teams Initiative and the WHO Classification and Standards”

Since Feb 2016, HKJCDPRI has been supporting the WHO EMT Initiative in its development. In Sept 2016, HKJCDPRI officially signed a collaborative agreement with the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute of the University of Manchester to further develop trainings and research agenda in support of the WHO EMT Initiative.


The project aims to develop training and capacity building programmes that are in accordance with the WHO minimum standards, and through identification of best practice and development of standard field operating procedures in interactive and stimulating brainstorming to professionalize EMTs. The project has since delivered a series of trainings, including workshops and exchange tours for EMTs and those interested in the development of EMTs.


The 10th commemoration of the 2008 Wenchuan Earthquake is just around the corner. While it is painstaking to commemorate such an agonizing incident, it also serves to remind us of the devastating disaster risks and the importance of preparing for emergencies.   On 9-13 April 2018, the Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI), the University of Manchester Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Emergency Medical Teams (EMTs) and Emergency Capacity Building and the Sichuan University West China Hospital (WCH) collaborated to organize a pre-deployment training for WCH, with the aims of reaching the WHO EMT minimum standards.  


A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) signing ceremony between Hong Kong Jockey Club Diaster Preparedness and Response Insitute (HKJCDPRI) and the National Health and Family Planning Committee was held on 1 November 2017 in Beijing. The MoU is a result of series of discussion between the two institutes started since 2016 to better coordinate and plan for the upcoming trainings.  
Following the annual National Emergency Medical Team (EMT) training 2016 held in Fuzhou of China, the annual EMT training 2017 was held in Dali of Yunnan Province of China on 12-13 September 2017. Same as the training in 2016, the 2017 training was organised for all 37 Chinese national EMTs managed under the National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC), while targeting at management level leaders of EMT development this year.
The 20th World Association for Disaster and Emergency Medicine (WADEM) Congress was convened on 24–28 April 2017 in Toronto, with more than 900 disaster and emergency medicine professionals in attendance. The Hong Kong Jockey Club Disaster Preparedness and Response Institute (HKJCDPRI) submitted two abstracts on two trainings which incorporated virtual reality (VR) simulation elements that HKJCDPRI co-organised with the the Hong Kong College of Anaesthesiologists and Hong Kong Automobile Association respectively.  


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