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Medical personnel needed for paid disaster service work as COVID-19 cases spike

July 21, 2020


As COVID-19 cases surge across California, the California Emergency Medical Services Authority (EMSA) is looking for additional medical personnel to staff a number of alternate care sites in Southern California.

The sites are focused in places where COVID-19 cases are rising fast. They include a community college gymnasium in rural Imperial County, which is located east of San Diego County and bordering Mexico. Imperial County is currently seeing large numbers of COVID-19 patients and the local health care system is stretched to its limits and continues to receive major support through county, regional, state and even some federal resources.

The other sites are located in former closed developmental centers in Orange County and Tulare County. These centers accept patients from hospitals across their regions to open beds for higher acuity patients within the acute care facilities. These are in-patient facilities but not on the grounds of a general acute care hospital.

EMSA is the state authority that coordinates medical response to disasters. The agency recruits health care providers from a database of medical volunteers that are part of California Medical Assistance Teams (CAL-MAT). Teams for the COVID-19 response are comprised of physicians, physician assistants and nurse practitioners, registered nurses, paramedics and EMTs, pharmacists, respiratory therapists, and physical therapists. CAL-MATs are modeled after the federal DMAT program and consist of a group of medical professionals organized and coordinated for rapid field medical response during disasters.

Deployments are entirely voluntary with flexible timelines. Personnel can be deployed individually. Deployments are typically 2 weeks or longer, but shorter deployments may be considered based on site need. Shifts are often 12 hours, day or night. Travel, meals and lodging are provided.

CAL-MAT physician pay ranges from about $60-75 per hour depending on your experience. CAL-MAT members become paid temporary state employees, sworn in as disaster service workers with liability, workers compensation and occupational health coverage while activated in California. 

Click here for application/registration information.

For general information and questions, please email cal.mat@emsa.ca.gov. For mission specific questions regarding clinical work or possible assignments, please contact CAL-MAT Medical Director Howard Backer, M.D., at howard.backer@emsa.ca.gov.

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