The first response to any emergency
A Medical Reserve Corps unit is a
community-based, organized group of
volunteers who can serve during a local emergency health situation and
local public health needs. Volunteers should have the appropriate health
and training in order to work together effectively as a team.
BENEFITS TO YOUR COMMUNITY
Major local emergencies can overwhelm
the capability of first responders, especially
during the first 12 to 72 hours. Having citizens who are prepared to take
themselves, their families and others during times of crisis will allow
focus their efforts on the most critical, life threatening situations.
An organized, well-trained MRC unit
means that volunteers can effectively respond to an
emergency, are familiar with their community’s response plan, know
what materials are available for their use, know who their partners in
the response are, and
know where their skills can be utilized to their best advantage and in
The local Medical Reserve Corps unit
is a valuable asset for helping address public
health concerns in a community throughout the year.
Examples of activities might include:
1. Childhood immunization campaigns
2. Influenza shot campaigns
3. Health education, including nutrition and physical fitness for youth
groups, faith based groups and the elderly
4. Support to existing local public service organizations
AN ORGANIZED TEAM APPROACH
During an emergency, a local government
will activate its local emergency operation
plan. These local plans define how the emergency personnel (fire, law
enforcement, emergency medical) will respond to and manage the emergency.
Spontaneous volunteers may hinder rescue efforts because they may not
be familiar with local plans or procedures.
By creating a Medical Reserve Corps unit that is linked to a local government’s
emergency operations plan, the members of the MRC unit can truly benefit
the community by knowing what their role is during an emergency, how they
fit into the local emergency plan, and how to best respond so that they
are a positive support structure for the first responders.
CITIZEN CORPS COUNCILS
Many communities, in response to the
President’s call, are establishing Citizen
Corps Councils under the overall umbrella of the Citizen Corps, a part
of the USA
Freedom Corps. As noted earlier, the Medical Reserve Corps is one of five
components of the Citizen Corps.
A community may decide that it would
like its Citizen Corps Council to play an
oversight and general guidance role for the local MRC unit. This should
be a local
decision, taking into account local circumstances. It is not a requirement
MRC units report to a Citizen Corps Council. However, there should be
identified local government office or department to which the MRC unit
some level of accountability, whether this is through the Citizen Corps