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The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is headquartered in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. There are 966 MRC units with over 201,000 volunteers. Its mission is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical and other volunteers. The MRC is a national network of locally based volunteer groups. These groups build strong, healthy and prepared communities by: Supporting local emergency response efforts/ Working to prepare their communities for emergencies/ Participating in ongoing health activities Examples of MRC activities include: Disaster mental health services/ Pandemic influenza planning/ Routine medical screenings and immunizations/ Health education and Community preparedness activities.
Why Does Georgia Need the MRC?
In case of a disaster or public health emergency, local emergency response resources may become quickly overwhelmed. Experience has proven that volunteers who have been pre-identified, pre-credentialed and trained are more easily integrated into emergency response efforts. The Georgia Medical Reserve Corps program organizes and utilizes public health, medical and non-medical volunteers BEFORE disaster strikes so we are ready when events occur.
Each local Medical Reserve Corps unit works with its local partners to build a strong, safe, resilient community through preparedness, planning and ongoing health activities. In an emergency, Medical Reserve Corps volunteers may assist with distributing medications, caring for people with special needs, or supporting local hospitals, health departments and other emergency response partners.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as: Physicians, Physician Assistants, Nurses, Pharmacists, Dentists, Veterinarians, Mental health professionals, Epidemiologists and EMTs Other community members who also fill vital support positions include: Interpreters, Chaplains, Office workers, Warehouse workers, Information technology professionals, HAM radio operators, legal advisors and many others.
What Training is Required?
You may already be an expert in your field. In most cases, your training as a MRC volunteer will focus primarily on learning how you fit into your local emergency response plans and health initiative procedures. You may also receive training on trauma response techniques, use of specialized equipment, and other methods to enhance your effectiveness as a volunteer.
Perhaps the most important part of your training will be learning to work as a part of a team. An organized, well-trained MRC unit is familiar with its community's response plan, available materials, response partners, and understands where its skills can best be used in a coordinated manner.
The Georgia Medical Reserve Corps program is housed under the Georgia Department of Public Health. Georgia has units in Albany, Appling, Atkinson, Augusta, Bacon, Brantley, Charlton, Clinch, Cobb, Coffee, Columbus, Dalton, DeKalb, Fulton, Gainesville, Gwinnett, LaGrange, Macon, Pierce, Savannah, Walton & Ware.
For additional information, go to www.medicalreservecorps.gov to locate and contact the MRC unit in your area. To register as a volunteer, go to Georgia's Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers-www.SERVGA.gov
- Shana Lightfoot
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