Clark County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
Clark County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Mission Statement
The mission of the Clark County MRC is to strengthen the health, safety, and preparedness of Clark County by organizing, training, and involving volunteers to assist in a public health emergency and to provide surge capacity during public health challenges.
What is the Medical Reserve Corps?
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 990 community-based units and almost 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories.
About the Clark County Medical Reserve Corps
The local Clark County MRC unit was organized in 2007 under the authorization of the Clark County Health Department (CCHD). Its volunteers include medical professionals, such as physicians, pharmacists, nurses, and technicians, as well as other community members with no healthcare backgrounds. Thus, ANYONE can be a volunteer.
Though the Clark County MRC has never had to respond to any local disasters or emergencies, there have been calls extended for volunteers state-wide during the 2011 flooding in Western Kentucky, and in the aftermath of the West Liberty, KY, tornado, in 2012.
Beyond disasters and emergencies, volunteers frequently contribute to community activities that promote healthy habits, such as obesity reduction, and tobacco cessation.
The Clark County MRC unit has distributed Home Safety Tip Bookmarks to county-wide 5th graders before summer vacation, as well as Red/Green Emergency HELP Window Signs at area businesses around Christmas. It also offered support with a Safety Booth for the 2014 Preservation Pedal Cycling Event in Winchester, and worked with the Bluegrass Chapter of the American Red Cross to offer a mass shelter training. The unit has also offered a pet preparedness training course that was open to the public, and assisted the CCHD with one of its rabies clinics.
More recently, a collaboration has been initiated with the high school Area Technology Center’s HOSA (Health Occupation Students of America) students with some joint projects, which included assisting attendees at the Generations Center with assembling disaster preparedness kits, during a blood pressure screening event, and operating a Zika disease / mosquito awareness booth at the annual Beer Cheese Festival.
What training is provided?
The Medical Reserve Corps offers training courses required by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) for all emergency responders. These include the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS) which educates everyone about the organizational principles that responders must follow to work together cohesively during disasters and emergencies.
Other trainings that have been offered include CPR, family preparedness, risk communication, psychology of disasters, and infection control, to mention a few.
Volunteers can join by registering online through K HELPS (Kentucky Health Emergency Listing of Professionals for Surge) at https://www.kentuckyhelps.com. K HELPS is an online state-wide program that provides a database/communication system, used to facilitate responses through identification, credentialing, and deployment of volunteers.
After registering online, the MRC unit leader will contact the applicant to make arrangements for completing the process with the required paperwork for background checks, credential verification, worker’s comp, etc.
How can I find out more about the MRC?
More information on the Medical Reserve Corps can be found online at https://mrc.hhs.gov. For any questions regarding the Clark County MRC, you may contact the unit leader, Jim Cowan, at (859) 385-4453, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.