MRC bannaer

Frequently Asked Questions
Utah County Medical Reserve Corps

Why was the MRC created?
How is the direction of the MRC established?
Who is the MRC afflilated with?
Can I volunteer in more than one group?
Why should I become an MRC volunteer?
What training do I need to become an MRC volunteer?
What type of training is available for MRC volunteers?
What type of background do I need to become an MRC volunteer?
Is the MRC volunteer program only for medical or healthcare professionals?

 

Why was the MRC created?

The MRC program was created after President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address, in which he asked all Americans to volunteer in support of their country. The MRC is comprised of organized medical and public health professionals who serve as volunteers to respond to natural disasters and emergencies. These volunteers assist communities nationwide during emergencies and for ongoing efforts in public health.
The need for trained supplemental medical and public health personnel to assist with emergency operations was highlighted after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many medical and public health professionals sought to support emergency relief efforts, but there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. The MRC program provides the structure necessary to deploy medical and public health personnel in response to an emergency, as it identifies specific, trained, credentialed personnel available and ready to respond to emergencies.


How is the direction of the MRC established?

The direction of the MRC program exists at the national, state, and local levels. Each level has key personnel responsible for overseeing activities at their respective level.
At the local level, each MRC unit is led by an MRC Unit Coordinator, who matches community needs—for emergency medical response and public health initiatives—with volunteer capabilities. Local coordinators are also responsible for building partnerships, ensuring the sustainability of the local unit, and managing the volunteer resources.
The Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (OCVMRC) oversees activities of the 10 MRC Regional Coordinators (see What is the role of the MRC Regional Coordinators?), who collaborate with national-, state-, and local-level emergency preparedness and response and medical and healthcare personnel.
At the national level, the MRC program is run by the OCVMRC, which is headquartered in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. It functions as a clearinghouse for information and best practices to help communities establish, implement, and maintain MRC units nationwide. The OCVMRC sponsors an annual leadership conference; hosts a Web site; and coordinates with local, state, regional, and national organizations and agencies to help communities achieve their local visions for public health and emergency preparedness.

Who is the MRC affiliated with?

Sponsored by the Office of the Surgeon General, the MRC coordinates its efforts with several groups and has multiple affiliates. The MRC is a specialized component of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. 
When possible, MRC units collaborate with their local Citizen Corps Council to better protect, prepare, and serve their communities. Other components of Citizen Corps include the programs Neighborhood Watch, Volunteers in Police Service, and Community Emergency Response Team.
At the national level, the OCVMRC functions as a clearinghouse for community information and "best practices." The OCVMRC offers technical assistance and educational resources, as well as partners with the National Program Office of Citizen Corps and the USA Freedom Corps to build relationships and gain resources for the MRC program as a whole.

Can I volunteer in more than one group?

Yes. The MRC program does not discourage volunteers from supporting other groups. MRC Unit Coordinators determine prospective volunteers' availability and whether they have other obligations that are particularly related to other disasters or response situations. Membership in both a Disaster Medical Assistance Team and an MRC unit or in an MRC unit and a Red Cross volunteer group could prove problematic unless there is proper coordination and integration between these organizations. These issues should be discussed with response partners during the planning process.
MRC units will not want to rely too much on volunteers who will be committed elsewhere, but units can still use volunteers who have other commitments. In these cases, the other obligations must be well documented and considered in the planning process.


I see many volunteer opportunities with emergency response and preparedness groups. Why should I become an MRC volunteer?


The MRC is a specialized component of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. Communities benefit from having MRC volunteers ready to respond to emergencies. People volunteer for many reasons, but some volunteer for the MRC because:

  • It's a way to offer their skills that might not have been used before because they were not adequately prepared to be part of the response effort.
  • It's a significant benefit to communities because skilled volunteers offer services during the year to augment existing public health efforts or provide emergency backup that would not otherwise be available.
  • It's a chance to belong to a group with a strong sense of mission and purpose.
  • It's a chance to qualify for special incentives (e.g., free training).

Volunteers are at the very heart of the MRC. The existence of this nationwide, community-based movement is due to the willingness of volunteer medical and public health professionals to serve their communities in times of need. Without that generous offer of service, there would be no MRC.


What training do I need to become an MRC volunteer?

Emergency preparedness and response is a highly coordinated effort that allows communities to maximize their capabilities during times of extraordinary disorganization and stress.

  • ICS 100
  • ICS 700
  • Basic First Aid


What type of training is available for MRC volunteers?

All MRC volunteers need to undergo some form of orientation to the MRC, which includes an overview of the system in which the MRC's activities occur, whether in relation to emergency response or public health, or both.
 Overall, the training includes support skills training, communications, and Incident Command System. Volunteers receive training in primary emergency response and public health procedures, including basic life support and CPR;  identifying the signs, symptoms, and treatment of hazardous materials (including nuclear, biological, and chemical agents); and basic first aid skills to deal with emergencies such as shock, allergic reactions, bleeding, broken bones, burns, chemical splashes, choking, eye injuries, skin wounds, dislocations, head trauma, heat exhaustion, stroke, and poisoning, and others.


What type of background do I need to become an MRC volunteer?

The MRC program seeks volunteers to assist with emergency preparedness and response efforts. Volunteers in the MRC program include:

  • Practicing, retired, or otherwise employed medical professionals, such as doctors, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, nurses' assistants, and others.
  • Public health professionals.
  • Community members without medical training can assist with administrative and other essential support functions.

United States citizenship is not required to be part of the MRC. Non-citizen, legal U.S. residents also are welcome to volunteer and contribute their time, knowledge, and skills to protecting and improving their communities.


Is the MRC volunteer program only for medical or healthcare professionals?


No. The MRC program seeks medical and public health professionals to assist with emergency preparedness and response efforts. However, other volunteers who have no medical or healthcare backgrounds also are needed to properly conduct emergency preparedness and response efforts. Community members without medical training can assist with administrative and other essential support functions. These volunteers give their time on an ongoing basis in coordination with other experts willing to donate their time and knowledge for special aspects of the effort.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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