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The Medical Reserve Corps / Des Moines unit is made up of volunteer members who are ready to provide support to city and county public health departments throughout the Des Moines area.
These agencies will need qualified volunteers to assist them if a large-scale emergency situation should arise. Public Health and Emergency Management agencies are working together to recruit, train and utilize a regional corps of volunteers.
Nationally, the Medical Reserve Corps is the component of the Citizen Corps that brings together local health professionals and others with relevant health-related skills to volunteer in their community. The Medical Reserve Corps provides health professionals and others an organized mechanism through which they can volunteer their time and skills to strengthen their communities by preparing for and responding to large-scale emergencies and disasters, such as an influenza pandemic, chemical release, or act of terrorism.
The Des Moines metropolitan area's MRC unit, the Medical Reserve Corps - Des Moines unit, is intended to supplement the resources of the local public health and emergency management infrastructure in the event of a large-scale emergency or disaster. The Iowa Medical Reserve Corps - Des Moines unit does not replace the existing public health or emergency management system or it resources. Volunteers work under the direction of the local public health or emergency management departments and are incorporated into their operations. However, the Iowa Medical Reserve Corps - Des Moines unit includes specific leadership positions, all held by volunteers.
To meet the varying needs of both volunteers and local public health/emergency management agencies, the IAMRC offers three ways to participate. You can select the option that best meets your interests and availability:
- Division 1 - Volunteers, both medical and non-medical, who are willing to attend ongoing training and bimonthly full corps meetings. These volunteers may take on leadership roles and guide the operation of the IAMRC.
- Division 2 - Volunteers who choose to respond to emergencies only. these volunteers are willing to join the IAMRC and receive free designated emergency response training, but may not be able to attend regular meetings or participate in non-emergency events.
- Division 3 - Primarily trained health care professionals who volunteer to be registered in the IAMRC database. These people report to a Volunteer Reception Center during a large-scale emergency. Because the IAMRC has previously verified their licenses/credentials, these individuals can be processed quickly, provided with on-the-spot instruction, and put right to work during an emergency.
All volunteer applicants are interviewed by the Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator and screened by a committee of public health professionals. Licensure verification is conducted as needed to ensure that selected members are qualified to provide care to the public.
In the event of a large-scale emergency in the Des Moines and surrounding areas, persons 18 years and older with a variety of skills and experience, both medical and non-medical, will be needed to assist and support the existing public health and emergency management infrastructure. The Iowa Medical Reserve Corps - Des Moines unit needs volunteers with variety of skills, including:
- EMTs and paramedics
- Public Safety "Security" Staff
- Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
- Mental health professionals
- Mortuary services professionals
- Clerical support / data enty staff
- Medical logistics experts
- Health care administrators
- Communications experts
- Public relations specialists
- Health care educators
All applicants accepted into the Iowa Medical Reserve Corps - Des Moines unit will undergo regular, ongoing, free emergency response training or be provided practical training immediately prior to deployment as well as ongoing Incident Command System/National Incident Management System training courses.
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