January 2008 Updates

Three new developments were in process by the first month of the New Year.

  1. The second annual Emergency Dispensing Site (EDS) drill took place on January 15th at the Billerica Town Hall Auditorium. There were 74 UMV MRC members participating in this full-scale exercise, as well as the Health Department staff from all seven UMV communities, and multiple response agencies. Call-outs and the assignment of volunteers simulated an actual emergency as closely as possible. The process allowed our unit to test its activation procedures. Members reported that they enjoyed the experience and benefited from hands-on practice, as well as working with fellow MRC members. They provided valuable feedback for the After-Action Report, which will help us to prepare for future responses.

    MRC members who are deployed at an actual EDS are considered first responders, so they and their family members would be offered vaccinations first. As with the 1/10/07 EDS, both local residents and MRC volunteers were invited to receive free influenza, tetanus, and pneumonia inoculations.

    The Incident Commander gave a briefing to MRC volunteers before the clinic was opened to the public.

  2. Four subcommittees were appointed through the UMV MRC Advisory Council. Kickoff meetings are underway for the Communications, Funding, Training,and Recruitment & Retention subcommittees. Their efforts will enhance our unit's outreach in these crucial areas.

  3. Health Fair season is coming up. Members have been recruited for health fairs at Westford Academy (March 4) and Chelmsford High School (March 6), and may be needed for the Billerica Health and Recreation Fair (April 12) and other events. Check the calendar for details.

Training opportunities are being planned for the coming months. Please send email to Nburns@WestfordMA.gov or call 978-399-2549 if you would like to participate in any of the offerings scheduled to date:

Flu Care at Home:
Train-The-Trainer Class

Tuesday, February 26
7 to 9 p.m.

Millennium School
23 Depot Street
Westford, MA 01886

Local public health partners and healthcare professionals are the backbone of seasonal flu prevention, as well as pandemic planning. The goal of this course is to train a core group of MRC volunteers and others in public health to form an ‘education team.’ Those who complete this course will be considered part of the response team that would be willing to conduct outreach, organize and implement educational presentations within the community, specifically to support the statewide Flu Care at Home initiative. The session is valid for two CEU credits for nurses and two CME hours for other care professionals. Two OEMS hours for EMTs have been applied for.

»» Registration Deadline: February 19, 2008


First Aid (AHA Certification)
Wednesday, March 26
6 to 10 p.m.

Millennium School
23 Depot Street
Westford, MA 01886

» Cost: $5 for AHA card

This course is particularly beneficial for non-medical members who want to learn about providing immediate care in case of sudden injury or illness. The instructors are seasoned EMTs with over two decades of field experience. Completion of this course results in first aid certification through the American Heart Association, valid for two years. The cost is $5 for an AHA card.

Class size is limited to 15 students. This class is now full. A waitlist is available.

»» Registration Deadline: March 19, 2008


72-Hour Emergency Kits
Tuesday, April 1
7 to 9 p.m.

Roudenbush Community Center
65 Main Street
Westford, MA 01886

» Prepayment of $48 required to cover
kit materials

Are you certain that your family has sufficient emergency supplies in your home? You should be! To help you address this top priority issue, the Westford Health Department and the UMV MRC is purchasing supplies in bulk and assembling 72-Hour Emergency Go-Kits. Come to this event and assemble your kit with previously purchased supplies, to ensure that your family is better prepared. Take advantage of discount pricing obtained through bulk purchasing, and avoid the hassle of running around to identify and purchase needed supplies. One-stop shopping! Your cost will cover a backpack, disaster guide, crank flashlight and radio, tarp, tent, and various first aid and emergency supplies.


  1. PRE-REGISTER by calling 978-692-5509 or stopping by
    25R Depot Street, Westford, MA.
  2. BRING a check to the Westford Health Department BY MARCH 7th.
  3. »» Registration Deadline: March 25, 2008

Upper Merrimack Valley Medical Reserve Corps, 55 Main Street, Westford, MA 01886