Benefits of joining the West Central Florida MRC
For you personally:
- Helping West Central Florida better prepare for and respond to public health emergencies
- Community awareness
- Networking and building references
- Gaining Public Health experience
- Being part of a dedicated public health and Emergency Response Team
- To provide important “surge” capacity during the first 72 hours of a major community emergency
- To augment medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities
- Disaster training and Continuing Education Coursework (CEU’s)
- Learning opportunities and skills development through training and hands-on drills/exercises
- To provide community public health education and disaster preparedness
- To assist with community and public health initiatives
- Sense of pride and accomplishment through community service
- Protection under the State liability coverage and workers compensation
For the Community:
Local emergencies have the capability to quickly overwhelm the capacity of first responders and the medical infrastructure, especially during the first 72 hours. Having residents who are pre-credentialed, trained and ready to respond during times of crisis will allow first-responders to focus their efforts on the most critical, life threatening situations. MRC volunteers supplement existing local emergency, medical and public health resources.
Our goal is to have an organized, well trained MRC unit of volunteers that can effectively respond to an emergency; are familiar with their community’s response plan; knows what materials are available for their use; knows who their partners in the response are; and knows where their skills can be utilized to their best advantage and in a coordinated manner.
Who can volunteer?
- Health professionals.
The Medical Reserve Corps needs practicing or retired Florida-licensed health care professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, pharmacy techs, respiratory therapists, social workers, mental health counselors, health educators, epidemiologists, paramedics/EMTs and veterinarians, to name a few.
- Non-health professionals
The Medical Reserve Corps also needs volunteers for key support roles as in logistics, administration, greeters, educators, communications, safety, security, clinic flow direction, registration, interpreters, pet care and chaplain services.
Where will I be volunteering?
There are many areas for volunteering.
- Disaster Response Assistance.
This assignment varies based on the needs. It may to assist with emergency first-aid stations, special needs or general population hurricane shelters, in mass prophylaxis drive-through dispensing sites, or door-to-door disease investigations as a part of public health teams, for example.
- Health Promotion
You may choose to participate in community or health fair screenings, or serve on the mobile medical unit assisting health department staff with outreach clinics.
What are some examples of volunteer activities?
- Triaging, registering, and assisting people evacuated to hurricane shelters
- Dispensing anti-virals to the population at drive-through medication stations called POD’S
- Participation in MCI exercises and hospital disaster drills
- Planning, logistical, and administrative support
- Community event support/screenings/EMS coverage
- Veterinary outreach support to the underserved