Geauga County

Medical Reserve Corps

About the Geauga County Medical Reserve Corps

Mission:

The mission of the Geauga County Medical Reserve Corps is to enhance the existing health care capabilities by collaborating with local response partners to provide an organized system of trained volunteers who would be activated in times of community need and who may be utilized to serve with public health outreach and education

Scope:

The Geauga County MRC will work within Geauga County. If volunteers choose, they can assist with regional, state, and/or national response efforts.

Benefits to the Community

Major local emergencies can overwhelm the capability of first responders, especially during the first 12-72 hours. Having citizens who are prepared to take care of themselves, their families and others during times of crisis will allow first-responders to focus their efforts on the most critical, life threatening situations.

An organized, well trained Medical Reserve Corps unit means that volunteers can effectively respond to an emergency, are familiar with their community’s response plan, know what materials are available for their use, know who their partners in the response are, and know where their skills can be utilized to their best advantage and in a coordinated manner.

An Organized Team Approach

During an emergency, communities will activate their Local Emergency Operations Plans (LEOP). These plans define how emergency personnel (fire, law enforcement, emergency medical services) will respond to and manage the emergency.

By creating a Medical Reserve Corps unit that is linked to emergency management, the members of the Medical Reserve Corps can truly benefit the community by knowing what their role is during an emergency, how they fit into the emergency plan, and how best to respond so that they are a positive support structure for the first responders.

Background

During and after any major disaster, emergency response services are not likely to be able to respond immediately to everyone’s needs. It could be several days before vital services are restored. As part of a trained volunteer group, you can be prepared to assist yourself, your family, friends, neighbors, etc.

The Geauga County Medical Reserve Corps has developed its program through:

  1. Forming a Steering Committee;
  2. Recruiting medical and non-medical volunteers from local hospitals, EMS, public health, and the community;
  3. Creating a database containing all volunteer information, including credentials, contact information, etc; and
  4. Developing orientation, core competencies and training programs for volunteers.

Results and Benefits Expected

Recruitment for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) will be community based and managed. The MRC seeks volunteers from various professional and non-professional backgrounds, including medical and non-medical, behavioral, public health, and support staff. The MRC will offer flexibility and allow volunteers to choose their desired level of participation and commitment.

The Geauga County MRC will be incorporated into the local Emergency Operations Plan (EOP) through the Emergency Operations Center (EOC). All emergency and disaster related functions of the MRC would be initiated through the EOC. The MRC will enhance and improve the emergency medical response capacity in the community. The program will enhance the region’s ability to respond to either a natural hazard or a terrorism event and be the designated volunteer corps utilized to provide surge capacity during public health emergencies. For example, responses could include mass vaccination or dispensing clinics; alternate care and/or triage facilities. With pre-planning, pre-identification of treatment sites, and pre-identified, certified, and trained volunteers, a safe, rapid, and effective response will be available in a major emergency or disaster.