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MERT’s Annual MCI Drill

Group photo showing all of the participants in the MERT MCI Drill on October 24, 2021.

Penn’s Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) conducted their 13th annual Mass Casualty Incident (MCI) Drill on October 24th, 2021. The drill scenario they practiced was for response to an explosion and chemical leak.  42 MERT members and 44 patient volunteers participated in the drill along with members of the Philadelphia Fire Department and Penn’s Division of Public Safety.

The goal of the MCI is to assess MERT’s emergency preparedness, and allow the MERT crew to practice quickly responding to a large-scale mass casualty incident in an organized manner. This drill helps to train future leaders of MERT in skills necessary for the growth of their organization. These types of exercises promote teamwork, and teach stress management and establishing a chain of command. The annual drill also provides an opportunity for MERT to engage the Penn and Philadelphia communities.

What is MERT?

The University of Pennsylvania Medical Emergency Response Team (MERT) is a student-run service organization providing emergency medical services to the University community. The primary purpose of the organization is to complement the emergency medical care provided by the University of Pennsylvania Police Department (UPPD) and the Philadelphia Fire Department (PFD) by providing professional, timely, and high-quality pre-hospital treatment. The secondary purpose of the organization is to provide training and education to both students and the community.  MERT is celebrating its 15th anniversary this year!

The MERT organization currently has 67 active members, all licensed emergency medical technicians (EMTs) with the Pennsylvania Department of Health.  They are in service from 5pm – 7am on weekdays and 24hr/day on the weekends.  Their response zone is 30th-43rd St. from Market to Baltimore,  providing confidential care for any medical emergency.

Call the PennComm emergency communications center at (215) 573-3333 for MERT.  Calling this number is the fastest way to receive medical care when on campus; with an average response time of under 5 minutes.  When you call this number, both MERT and the Philadelphia Fire Department are dual-dispatched.