What is a Medical Reserve Corps?
Many medical and health volunteers offered their skills after the September 11, 2001, attacks. These attacks underscored the need for a more organized approach to using medical and health volunteers during an emergency. It also became clear that without coordinated training, credentialing and support, volunteers can initially hinder the response and/or put themselves in danger. It is critical to prepare volunteers prior to an emergency response effort.
The United States Secretary of Health and Human Services officially launched the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) in July 2002 to support those health and medical needs. While created nationally, the MRC is a network of local groups, meeting the specific needs of their communities.
The MRC is dedicated to the pre-identification, advance preparation and credentialing of local health and non-health professionals to respond in large-scale medical or public health emergencies such as disasters, disease pandemics or acts of terrorism and other vital public health activities.
How do MRC volunteers help in disasters?
In West Central Florida, the Medical Reserve Corps is coordinated by the Pasco County Health Department, where both medical and non-medical volunteers are pre-trained, prepared and ready to respond to community health emergencies in a structured way. MRC volunteers are called upon to serve alongside of public health, medical, and emergency services professionals at emergency first-aid stations, in hurricane shelters, in mass dispensing of medication/vaccination operations, or in disease outbreak investigations, to name a few examples
How do I join the Medical Reserve Corps?
It’s easy, visit the “How to Apply” page to your left or contact the MRC Coordinator listed on the right of this page.