New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Serves, New Mexico Disaster Medical Assistance Team (NM-1 DMAT), Utah-1 DMAT, and other volunteers of the University of New Mexico recently assist the U.S. Military in the 2012 Bataan Memorial Death March held March 25.

The Bataan Memorial Death March is a challenging 26.2-mile march through the high-desert terrain of White Sands Missile Range, conducted in honor of the heroic service members who defended the Philippine Islands during World War II; sacrificing their freedom, health and, in many cases, their lives.

NM MRC Serves, NM DMAT, and other volunteer groups provided medical coverage to 7,000-plus participants. This year, roughly 30 percent of participants required medical support for heat exhaustion, dehydration, orthopedic injuries, skin wounds and blisters. Approximately 26 patients required Medevac transport, 16 ambulatory and 10 Medevac, to local hospitals for medical emergencies, such as heat stroke and cardiac events.

NM MRC Serves is a statewide registry of volunteers who can serve during emergency situations and assist with local public health needs. Local MRC units can be a valuable asset for helping address public health concerns in communities throughout the year.

NM-1 DMAT – one of the nation's most active teams – is part of the National Disaster Medical System. DMATs are deployed to provide medical support to events of national significance. Teams are prepared to be deployed for up to 14 days at a time (plus travel on each end), to austere environments to treat patients in disaster situations.

Both NM MRC Serves and NM DMAT are part of UNM Health Sciences Center's Center for Disaster Medicine. For more information or to volunteer, visit http://hsc.unm.edu/SOM/cdm/index.shtml.