Upper Merrimack Valley MRC is one of 38 Medical Reserve Corps
units in Massachusetts - and one of 885 across America - that
is actively recruiting and training volunteers in case of
emergencies. There are nearly 187,000 MRC
members in all 50 states -- plus Washington DC, Guam,
Palau, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and other territories -- serving
in areas as diverse as Anchorage, Alaska and New York City.
MRC units continue to offer a wide range of services.
Recruits at June 30, 2004 Kickoff
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The national network
of MRCs brings together people who have skills related to
health care, to help as needed in their own community. When
units are organized and trained, they can respond to events
such as public health emergencies and large-scale disasters,
and provide ongoing community service.
The Upper Merrimack Valley MRC is recruiting new members who
would like to make a difference in their community, both in
responding to a crisis and supporting local events. Medical
and non-medical volunteers are welcome.
The UMV MRC covers seven communities: Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell,
Tewksbury, Tyngsboro, and Westford. The population for this region is well over a quarter
of a million residents. The lead agency for this initiative is the Town of Westford's
MRC unit across the nation is comprised of volunteers who can
best serve the needs of their specific region. Members can be
either practicing or retired, across a full range of levels
in their profession.
The UMV MRC is particularly interested in recruiting physicians, nurses, Emergency
Medical Technicians, dentists, and pharmacists.
Medical volunteers could play a crucial role in public health emergencies, and would be pivotal in mass-casualty
Volunteers are also needed from related
professions and supporting functions. These include mental health
clinicians, special-needs care providers, counselors, phlebotomists,
respiratory technicians, medical logistics personnel, health
care educators, translators, administrators, and communications
Collins (original MRC Director) and Nancy Burns (MRC
welcomed volunteers at our first focus group.
(click on image for larger view)
Mission: Provide emergency and non-emergency services
very nature of a disaster means that it is unexpected, involves
many victims, and could arise in any number of forms. This
is why units such as the UMV MRC train for "all-hazards"
response, to work with existing agencies that can benefit
from "surge capacity" in addressing the crisis
at hand. All MRC responses are intended to supplement
existing services, and would never replace current staff.
Public health emergencies could include a disease outbreak; such as a flu pandemic, smallpox or SARS epidemic,
or the threat of exposure to Hepatitis A. In these types of situations, massive numbers
of people may need to be inoculated on short notice. A well-organized MRC unit
could be assembled rapidly to conduct local vaccination clinics on a large scale.
Mass-casualty incidents include any type of catastrophe resulting
in a large number of injured victims, or events that put many people at risk.
These events could include a building collapse; terrorist attack; natural disasters
such as floods, tornados, hurricanes, or snowstorms; or fires that injure or displace
many individuals. These situations may also require staffing at shelters for several
days or weeks. MRC members who are trained and equipped long before a crisis occurs
can provide the most effective response to these events, while ensuring the safety
of themselves and those with whom they interact.
service projects are at the discretion of the members of the MRC. Involvement
depends on the needs of the community and on the interests and abilities of the
membership. Some units choose to participate in ad-hoc events, such as health fairs, festivals
and road races. Others can play a key role in ongoing initiatives, such as health
education programs. These non-emergency functions invite members to make their
world a better place in which to live.
of UMV MRC activities to date
(click on image for larger view)