Medical Reserve Corps

 

 Cedar Rapids Medical Reserve Corps

 

What is the Linn County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)?

The MRC is part of a nationwide initiative to pre-register, train, manage, and mobilize volunteers to help the community respond to all types of disasters. The Linn County Medical Society, Linn County Emergency Management Agency, Linn County Department of Public Health, St. Luke’s Hospital and Mercy Medical Center provide the framework for coordinating volunteers who have medical, public health, or other needed skills.

Why should I join?

Many of us demonstrate our concern for others daily. Your knowledge and skills will be vital to your community – family, friends,and neighbors in a time of need. When a health emergency happens, your skills and concern for others will be crucial.

How many people will you need during an incident?

The number of volunteers needed vary depending on the emergency and the needs of the community. There is also the chance that a number of volunteers will have conflicts at the time they are requested to help that prevent them from volunteering. We would like to register a large number of volunteers so our community will have enough when the need arises.

What is required for participation?

You must first register with the program at www.linncountymedical.org.  Program administrators will contact you about their expectations for participation. You will be asked to attend a program orientation or other training to help prepare you. If and when activation becomes necessary, the program administrators will contact the volunteers to determine availability. You are never required to volunteer for anything unless you are available and comfortable about responding.If you have questions about the LC MRC, contact us at lcmedicalsociety@gmail.com or 365-2527.

Who should register into the MRC?

We are looking for anyone willing to volunteer their skills in the event of a health emergency. These persons include:

  • Health care professionals, such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, nursing assistants, respiratory therapists, psychiatrists, veterinarians, etc.
  • Public health professionals
  • Behavioral health and social service professionals including psychologists, social workers, counselors, interpreters, and chaplains
  • Support staff such as clerical workers, data entry, greeters, traffic control, canteen workers, etc.

Who will have access to the data?

Persons who will have access to this information are the LC Dept. of Public Health, LC Emergency Management Agency (for credentialing) and the leadership involved in planning, investigating, or controlling a public health emergency.  The MRC will not provide this information to anyone else without your consent.

What kind of tasks would I be assigned?

The MRC leadership will make an assessment of training needs and appropriate assignments. You may be asked to perform tasks related to your profession, trade, or skills, or in other places if the need exists.

Can I register in the MRC if I’m not currently licensed or if I do not have any experience or training in public health or healthcare?

Yes. Whether you are actively licensed, a student, retired health professional, or someone with an interest in volunteering during a health emergency, you are encouraged to register. Because many health personnel will already be committed to a role during an emergency, we are also actively recruiting “non-health” personnel who will assist health professionals when the need arises.

How does the MRC work in relation to other volunteer service organizations in my community, such as the American Red Cross, or Salvation Army?

Each MRC unit is organized through groups of public health agencies. The focus for the response is to address health emergencies. All the programs coordinate with each other and with the American Red Cross, and other local volunteer programs.

What kind of training will I receive to prepare me to respond in a health emergency?

Your local program administrator will contact you for training opportunities, or any requirements for participation. When you are asked to volunteer, you will know what type of event it is, where you are being asked to respond, what will be expected from you, and what you need to know to help out and keep yourself safe.

Should I be concerned about liability?

In 2007 Iowa’s legislators extended the state’s statutory Good Samaritan liability protection to include non-profit entities acting in good faith to provide emergency aid during a public health disaster.  House File 925 was passed unanimously by both the Iowa House and Senate in order to improve emergency preparedness.  Section 21 addresses persons volunteering under entities such as the MRC. Iowa State law (Iowa House File 925, Section 21) provides that individuals will not be held liable for acts or omissions committed while serving as emergency or disaster volunteers if:

  • They were acting within the scope of their volunteer responsibilities;
  • They were properly licensed, certified, or authorized by the appropriate authorities for the activity or practice by the State of Iowa, and the activities or practice was undertaken within the scope of their volunteer responsibility;
  • The harm caused is not the result of willful or criminal misconduct, gross negligence, reckless misconduct or a conscious flagrant indifference to the rights or safety of the person harmed.

Are there any provisions for compensating me for time lost from work or other expenses?

There are no provisions for compensating volunteers.

I would like to help out. Who should I contact to volunteer?

To register into the MRC, contact Mike Goldberg at LC EMA at http://www.linncounty-ema.org/ or 319-892-6500 .You can also contact your local Public Health agency or the Medical Society to find out who is coordinating volunteer efforts in your area.

 

 

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