Advanced Local Response Team (ALeRT)

The Charlotte-Mecklenburg ALERT Program, (Advanced Local Emergency Response Team) is a unique multi-agency terrorism response team. It is the major component of the Metropolitan Medical Response System designed to rapidly deploy and treat patients involved in a mass casualty incident. The team is particularly focused on responding to incidents involving nuclear, biological, chemical, or incendiary weapons of mass destruction.

As the nation's second largest financial center and the only city in the world with two nuclear power stations and four reactors within close proximity to the downtown center, Charlotte is at increased risk for a potential nuclear, biological or chemical attack. The team's objective is to enhance and support existing emergency resources, to rapidly and appropriately treat patients injured in an attack, and to help ensure that the community's infrastructure is kept as safe and functional as possible during a disaster. This goal is accomplished through collaboration, cross training, and the ability to use specialized equipment required during a deployment.

ALERT's 100+ members have been individually selected from the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police Department, Mecklenburg County Sheriff's Office, Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Marshals Service, Charlotte Fire Department, Mecklenburg EMS Agency, Mecklenburg County Medical Examiner's Office, and Carolinas Medical Center. ALERT personnel have practiced the specifics of dealing with the law enforcement, hazardous materials, and medical mass casualty aspects of both chemical and biological terrorism. These training sessions have improved operating efficiencies of the team and its member agencies, and have demonstrated that the team can respond quickly in an emergency.

Development of the ALERT Program began in the fall of 1997, and today the team is operational and prepared to respond to any mass casualty incident. The team receives its funding from Mecklenburg County and the Departments of Defense, Justice, and Health and Human Services.

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