Metropolitan Medical Response System

The Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) is a U.S. Department of Homeland Security program directly supporting local capabilities to manage an all hazards mass casualty incident until significant external resources arrive by systematically enhancing and integrating first responders, medical providers, public health, emergency management, business, and volunteers. The Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council Metropolitan Medical Response System (LRGVDC-MMRS) plan does not emphasize or construct the specific operating procedures for each agency, but instead emphasizes interagency cooperation under the federally accepted National Incident Management System. It also emphasizes review and interaction of individual local plans whether the agency is local, state, federal or privately held.

The primary goal of the LRGVDC MMRS is to support an integrated regional response system that can address all-hazards, natural or man-made incident that might occur within this strategically important geographical area of South Texas. This task is complex, considering another task of the LRGVDC-MMRS is to develop a sustainable, integrated, regional and national plan encompassing the four counties of Hidalgo, Cameron, Starr and Willacy taking into consideration the collaboration with border communities from the Mexican State of Tamulipas.

The Texas side of the border serves as the gateway to the United States for Mexico, the Caribbean and Central and South America along a 44-mile stretch of the Rio Grande River. The LRGVDC-MMRS Management Team provides integrated membership from the emergency preparedness and response teams from four Texas counties, local medical facilities, 45 independent towns and cities, and more than 20 Texas State and U.S. Federal government agencies and Mexican government offices. Together this group has responsibility for initial responses to any mass destructive event on the US side of the border for an area covering 4,874 sq miles.

The LRGVDC-MMRS serves as a platform for increasing awareness, sharing common solutions to common problems and increasing the levels of technical expertise and proficiency among first responders (fire and law enforcement) and first receivers (emergency medical technicians (EMTs), paramedics, vehicle drivers, emergency room personnel, laboratory and other hospital personnel) who are tasked with providing identification, analysis and care to victims in the first 48-72 hours should a mass catastrophic event occur. (WDE was formerly called weapons of mass destruction or WMD). To be prepared to respond to incidents involving chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosive (CBRNE) agents, personnel must be skilled in identification of such agents and all emergency responders must be capable of self-protection, treatment, decontamination, and operating in a hazardous environment.

Mission of the LRGVDC-MMRS
The mission of the LRGVDC-MMRS is to assist and support in the enhancement of the local capabilities of existing systems to manage mass casualty incidents during the early hours critical to lifesaving and population protection and respond to, and recover from, mass casualties caused by terrorist acts using WMD/CBRNE, large scale hazardous material incidents, epidemic disease outbreaks, natural disasters or other public health emergencies.

MMRS Goals Enhancement

  • Integrate biological preparedness into the overall planning
  • Develop plans for mass prophylaxis of exposed and populations
  • Develop plans for mass patient care
  • Develop plans for mass fatality management
  • Develop plans for environment surety

MMRS Steering Committee Meetings
The MMRS Steering Committee meets every other month at the LRGVDC Transit Facility at 510 S. Pleasantview Dr. in Weslaco to discuss plans and goals.

For additional information on the Metropolitan Medical Response System, contact Manuel Cruz at 956-682-3481 ext. 105 or e-mail at mcruz@lrgvdc.org