Carl D’Amato can usually be found working in the emergency room at Miles Memorial Hospital in Damariscotta. But when the earth strains against its fault lines and tremors reap damage, the Rockport doctor often follows in its wake, lending aid in parts of the world to those who are suffering.

It’s a role he has assumed several times, traveling under the auspices of the nonprofit humanitarian Relief International, which has base offices in California, Washington, D.C., and Japan. Its mission is to provide emergency relief and assistance to vulnerable communities, especially women and children, and victims of natural disasters. That care ranges from immediate bandaging of wounds to counseling, to long-term development programs.

D’Amato’s first earthquake response was after the 2001 Gujarat earthquake in India, which had a magnitude of between 7.6 and 8.1 and killed more than 20,000 people and injured approximately 170,000. Most recently, he spent two weeks in Haiti following the Jan. 12 magnitude 7 quake, whose epicenter was just 16 miles from the heavily populated city of Port au Prince.

The operations, especially in a situation like Haiti, depend on a quick, organized response. For a doctor like D’Amato, the expectations are clear: he is to make his own travel arrangements, pay for the tickets, and get himself from a place like Maine to a place like Haiti and go to work without fuss.

D’Amato arrived in Port au Prince in mid-February for a two-week stint, relieving another doctor at the bare bones clinic that Relief International had set up. D’Amato’s role was to assume being head doctor of the clinic and pass on his knowledge to other medical personnel until a new head doctor arrived. During those two weeks he was there, Haiti was still tending to the wounded and shell shocked, and only tentatively beginning to clean up after the devastation.

It was tense, and the U.S. military was helping to keep the peace. Medical personnel from Doctors Without Borders had been kidnapped and the volunteers with Relief International were urged not to leave the clinic without protection. Desperate times had been superimposed on people who already were suffering. Doctors feared what might come next — emerging sickness, malaria, diarrhea, skin disease, and post traumatic stress syndrome.

The clinic, set up under awnings in the yard of a small compound, opened onto a busy street where every morning Haitians would line up, hoping to see a doctor. In the backyard, the doctors and nurses would crawl out of their tents at the break of dawn after a sleep punctuated by the constant language of roosters and dogs, eat a quick breakfast of Power Bars or Oatmeal, and then head out to the long line of people, moving along to each individual and determining who required immediate help.

“We were looking for fevers, and whoever looked really sick,” said D’Amato.

Much of the work was with those who suffered injuries in the earthquake. Other work concentrated on resolving malnutrition, de-worming children and distributing capsules of vitamin A to ward off blindness. Medicine was also distributed to those whose regular dosages of preventative prescriptions — for high blood pressure, seizure control, diabetes — were disrupted by the earthquake.

“They had little to begin with and nothing afterward,” said D’Amato.

He knew before leaving Rockport that medicines were in short supply, so he approached Kennebec Pharmacy for help. The pharmacy on Route 1 in Rockport pitched in, selling D’Amato medicine at cost. D’Amato had passed the hat among his colleagues at Miles, and raised $400 for the medicine.

“Without Kennebec Pharmacy’s help, it would have cost thousands of dollars,” he said. “They filled an enormous order of antibiotics, anti-pain and anti-malarial medicine.”

The crew would work until midafternoon, and then break for meals of Ramen noodles. Then they would spend time with more patients or talk with earthquake victims, a number of whom were growing increasingly depressed and stressed.

Relief International added two psychologists to the clinic, as well as a social worker from Australia, to help Haitians put the earthquake into perspective, and heal.

D’Amato may return for another relief tour in Haiti, or move on wherever the earth is active and the medical networks are thin. That is what some doctors do.