The City of St. Petersburg received funding in September of 2000 to convene the Metropolitan Medical Response System (MMRS) committee. Prior to HRSA grant funding streams, MMRS was the only source of money available for hospitals to enhance their preparedness. Funding was used to purchase emergency ventilators, radios, radiological monitoring systems and PPE for the hospitals in Pinellas County. It was also used to create a pharmaceutical cache and provide Mark-1 kits for first responder agencies.
The MMRS committee in Pinellas County has been touted as the “most successful MMRS in the country” according to the federal regulating agency. MMRS members are represented at Urban Area Security Initiative meetings and several state working groups, including the Regional Domestic Security Task Force. MMRS is the only regularly meeting disaster preparedness group in Pinellas County and has led to a strong collaboration between the involved agencies.