Community Service

According to the overview about MRCs posted on the national web site, units are encouraged to “prepare for and respond to emergencies, and promote healthy living throughout the year.”

Our unit’s involvement in ongoing activities allows us to serve our communities in ways that best suit the Upper Merrimack Valley, while applying the interests and skills of our volunteers. In the process, we become better acquainted with our membership, while developing skills that could be essential during disasters. The nature of these activities allowed members to serve at a comfortable pace, as their time allows.

Thus the UMV MRC supported numerous fairs and public awareness programs throughout 2007. Some of these events (such as health fairs in Billerica, Chelmsford, and Westford) have become part of our annual calendar. Several others were new for us this year.

  • The Lowell Interns Fair invited college students to consider involvement in the MRC, as a supplement to their educational programs.
  • The YMCA Healthy Kids Fair was our first partnership with the Lowell Y. This celebration focused on the health and fitness of children who live in our region’s largest urban community.
  • UMV MRC instructors taught a series of CPR/AED classes for Westford municipal employees, as well as for medical and non-medical members of our own unit.
  • Members served at the massive “Independence Day” celebration in Chelmsford – walking in the parade, staffing an MRC booth to promote emergency preparedness, and managing ham radio communications across the fairgrounds.
  • The Yankee Doodle Homecoming Weekend, Billerica’s largest event of its kind, allowed members to tour the town’s Emergency Operations Center before taking blood pressures and raising MRC awareness for local residents. This was the unit’s first display co-sponsored with Billerica’s Emergency Management personnel.
  • The Coordinator represented the MRC as a panelist on a “Health and Emergency Management Special” for cable TV. The other speakers addressed local emergency management plans, the Immune Deficiency Foundation, and Board of Health issues.

Members attended two presentations that were sponsored by the Westford Health Department, with an informal UMV MRC awareness table on display. Both talks invited area residents to update their knowledge on current public health issues:

  • Dr. Al DeMaria and Dr. Lisa Stone of DPH joined UMV MRC Director Sandy Collins, RN, after their talk on Pandemics and preparedness issues.
  • Dr. Bela Matyas enlightened his audience on MRSA (Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aureus), which had raised concerns due to increased press coverage.

We look forward to evaluating these kinds of activities for the coming year, to see where our unit can best be of service across the region.

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