What types of volunteers are you looking for?

The Manatee County Medical Reserve Corps is looking for a variety of individuals. We have expanded our focus to include support for local emergency management as well as public health. People with skills in the health-care field are, of course, needed to meet clinical needs. However, volunteers who do not have any medical training are also encouraged to join the MRC.  During a public health emergency, MRC volunteers may be needed to help staff emergency vaccination clinics or pharmaceutical distribution clinics. Many functions are needed to run a clinic, including vaccinating or distributing pharmaceuticals to the public, performing medical screenings, running patient education sessions, directing the flow of people from one area to another, providing mental health consultation, registering patients, entering data from forms, stocking supplies and providing information to the media.

How many people will be needed?

This will depend on the emergency and the needs of the community. If, for example, the entire population of Manatee County should need to be vaccinated, it is estimated that more than 16,000 individuals would be needed to staff vaccine dispensing points. MRC is striving to recruit as many qualified people as possible so that if any kind of emergency occurs the volunteers would be registered and ready to be called into service as needed.

What kinds of tasks will I be assigned?

MRC makes every effort to match volunteers’ skills and interests with existing needs. After your membership application is accepted, you will be assigned to or trained for an appropriate role based on your qualifications and interests.

Am I required to report for duty at the time of an emergency even if my employer needs me or if I have family commitments?

As an MRC volunteer, you should expect to be called to help in an emergency. You should be as prepared as possible, and make plans for your family, too, so that you are available to help. However, work and family commitments are understood. We hope you will plan ahead and be prepared to assist your community with MRC should an emergency occur.

What kind of training will I get for dealing with medical emergencies?

This depends on your choice of division. Division 1 and Division 2 volunteers are expected to complete a series of required classes within four months of acceptance into the unit. These classes are Orientation to the MRC , Personal and Family Preparedness, National Incident Management System (NIMS), and Public Health and Disaster Response. Division 3 volunteers will receive “just in time” training immediately prior to deployment.

How will I be contacted in an emergency?

When you register with MRC, you will provide your contact information — e-mail, home address, phone numbers, etc. The Emergency Activation and Deployment Team will use this information to contact you with routine information or in the event of an emergency. It is very important that you keep your contact information up to date.

Does acceptance for membership in MRC legally obligate me to volunteer in an emergency?

No. Your service with MRC is voluntary and you are not legally obligated to assist in an emergency or any other situation. At the time an emergency occurs, you may be alerted or called and asked to volunteer. The decision you make at that time is up to you.

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

At this time, no provisions exist for compensating volunteers for time lost from work, mileage, meal costs, etc. In the event of an emergency, such provisions may be available, but they are not defined at this time.

Will I be asked to volunteer for an emergency event outside the Manatee County area?

The MRC is intended to be a local response unit and there are currently no plans to send volunteers outside of the area. However, if the National Medical Reserve Corps or other disaster response agencies contact us during emergencies, you may be offered opportunities to join other organizations and assist in other states. Your service during such incidents is entirely voluntary.

What will be my level or length of volunteer commitment to MRC?

You will be given more information about volunteer commitment when you attend orientation. However, there is no specific required number of volunteer hours or length of service. We expect your participation to be determined by your own availability and interest, but hope that you will serve for at least a year.