What is the Greene County MRC?
The Greene County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a group of both licensed medical and non-medical volunteers who would like to assist local public health agencies before, during, and after an emergency. The volunteers receive training to ensure they are adequately prepared to act as first responders along with members from the county's three local health departments. In order to become a registered member of the Lorain County MRC, all volunteers must register on the state of Ohio's MRC website or give the Greene County MRC Coordinator permission to enter their information on the Ohio MRC website.
Why should I become an MRC member?
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.
Is the Greene County MRC 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.
Why do I have to register on the Ohio MRC website?
All Greene County MRC volunteers must be registered on the Ohio MRC website. This ensures the highest level of liability coverage for volunteers, and it also allows volunteers to access additional information and training opportunities. Each volunteer can either register on the Ohio MRC site on their own, or the volunteer can give the Greene County MRC Coordinator permission to enter his/her information on the Ohio MRC website.
Do I have liability protection while volunteering?
Ohio Revised Code 121.404 provides liability protection to registered Ohio Citizen Corps (including Ohio Medical Reserve Corps) volunteers during local, state or federally declared emergencies, disasters, drills and trainings. The statute also exempts a registered volunteer's personal information on the Ohio Citizen Corps Database from public disclosure. For more information, view the Liability Protection document.
What training is needed to become an MRC member?
Emergency preparedness and response is a highly coordinated effort that allows communities to maximize their capabilities during times of extraordinary disorganization and stress. Volunteers may already know how to perform some of the necessary medical and health functions. In most cases, training as an MRC volunteer focuses primarily on learning local emergency and health procedures, trauma response techniques, use of specialized equipment, and other methods to enhance volunteer effectiveness. Perhaps the most important part of training is learning how to work as a team member. An organized, well-trained MRC unit is familiar with its community's response plan, knows what materials are available, knows its response partners, and knows where its skills can be put to best use in a coordinated manner.
How much time is required?
The Greene County MRC understands that each volunteer is different. Some people have more time than others to contribute to volunteering. While there is not a set amount of hours, the MRC will require a small time commitment from its volunteers to ensure adequate training. This training will be held in a variety of formats, such as workshops, seminars, web-based training, and exercises. For more information, visit the Volunteer Responsibilities portion of the website.
Where would I go for trainings?
Training opportunities for Greene County MRC volunteers are offered in a variety of formats. A large number of trainings are web-based, while others may be held onsite at one of the three health departments in the county or offsite at another location. Additional training opportunities include seminars, workshops, conferences, drills, and exercises. Training opportunities will be listed in the Training Calendar portion of the website. This calendar can only be accessed if you are a Greene County MRC member.
What events would I be involved in as an MRC volunteer?
Greene County MRC volunteers can be used during public health emergencies and other non-emergency events. During times of emergency, MRC volunteers will be used to staff mass clinics throughout the county to distribute medication or vaccines to the public. In terms of non-emergency events, volunteers may participate in yearly flu clinics and other events coordinated through county agencies.
What are the MRC Core Competencies?
The MRC Core Competencies are skills and/or behaviors that are expected of all MRC volunteers. These were created to ensure a certain level of proficiency and effectiveness among all MRC units nationwide.
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. Citizen Corps, along with AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps are part of the President's USA Freedom Corps, which promotes volunteerism and service throughout the nation. At the national level, the Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (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.
Why was the MRC created?
The national 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 and non-medical volunteers who 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.
What is the Citizen Corps?
The Citizen Corps is a national volunteer network dedicated to providing hometown security. The mission of Citizen Corps is "to harness the power of every individual through education, training, and volunteer service to make communities safer, stronger, and better prepared to respond to the threats of terrorism, crime, public health issues, and disasters of all kinds."Its mission is accomplished through a national network of state, local, and tribal Citizen Corps Councils. These Councils use community strengths to incorporate the Citizen Corps programs. Citizen Corps, along with AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps are all part of the President's USA Freedom Corps.
What is the USA Freedom Corps?
USA Freedom Corps 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. USA Freedom Corps is comprised of the Citizen Corps, AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and the Peace Corps and promotes volunteerism and service throughout the nation. USA Freedom Corps is "charged with promoting a culture of service, citizenship, and responsibility in America."
Can I volunteer in more than one group?
Yes. The MRC program does not discourage volunteers from supporting other groups, for example CERT. 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.