Medical Reserve Corps
Volunteers Building Strong, Healthy, and Prepared Communities
Download the Southeast Idaho Medical Reserve Corps brochure
In an emergency, natural disaster, or public health incident, volunteers with the right training are invaluable. Volunteers are needed all across Idaho. Whether or not you have medical training, you can become an everyday hero by registering with the Medical Reserve Corps in your area. Volunteer training is free.
What is the Medical Reserve Corps?
Formed in 2002, the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)is a nationwide program comprised of private citizens, medical and public health professionals who sign up to serve as community health volunteers during natural disasters, emergencies, and public health incidents.
Why was the MRC created?
In an emergency, the immediate deployment of emergency medical personnel is critical. However, such events can quickly overwhelm hospitals and healthcare systems with individuals urgently in need of care. In addition, it is often difficult in the midst of a disaster to locate qualified volunteers and coordinate large volunteer efforts. The MRC was created to engage volunteers to strengthen public health preparedness, emergency response, and community resilience.
What do MRC volunteers do?
Local MRC volunteers provide a variety of services to their communities during an emergency situation including handing out supplies, signing people into shelters, or giving needed information. Medically trained MRC volunteers can also administer immunizations, provide health education, and offer medical support. All MRC volunteers may also assist in ongoing public health efforts, such as helping out at health fairs, during non-emergencies.
Who can join the MRC?
While doctors, nurses, and other medical professionals are a core part of the MRC, the MRC does not limit membership to those in the medical community. Individuals without medical training can fill essential supporting roles. Simply put, any citizen with an interest in helping keep their community prepared for an emergency is qualified to be in the MRC.
Help your community today become prepared for tomorrow.
- Social Workers
- Mental Health Counselors
- Clerical staff
- Ham radio operators
- Warehouse workers
- Transportation workers
- IT specialists
- Anyone who cares about their community and neighbors!
Volunteers are needed to help their community during:
- Severe weather
- Communications failure
- Infectious disease outbreaks
- Community outreach and education about preparedness
- Health fairs
- General office help
- Other disasters
What do I need to do if there is an emergency?
In the event of a disaster, you will receive an alert requesting volunteers. You will then have the chance to accept or decline the volunteer request. There is no obligation to participate in an activation.
At least once annually (more if needed), an orientation session will be held at Southeastern Idaho Public Health for all existing and new MRC volunteers. Updates on time and location will be provided through Volunteer Idaho messaging. To check when the next orientation is scheduled, you may call Ryan Richardson at 208-239-5295 or email him at .
As MRC volunteers would be working alongside emergency responders in an incident, it is important that all volunteers have a basic knowledge of the tools and terminology that are used in a response. To facilitate this, all MRC volunteers must complete the following introductory Incident Command System courses through the Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) Independent Study program:
IS-100.b - Introduction to Incident Command System
IS-700.a - National Incident Management System (NIMS) An Introduction
Additional training will be provided as new gaps and topics are identified. A Training Needs Assessment will be conducted for the MRC through the orientation process, and a training plan reflecting those needs will be developed. Possible additional training topics include: CPR and first aid, Psychological First Aid, Community Emergency Response Team training, and more. Specific training topics will relate to the focus area for the year.
If volunteers are deployed in a response, any additional necessary Just-in-Time training will also be provided to facilitate specific duties.
How do I sign up?
Idaho citizens interested in joining the MRC can register by simply navigating to www.volunteeridaho.org and clicking on the “REGISTER NOW” button. You will be directed to a page where you can enter information about yourself. Please complete your profile as fully as possible. Through the MRC, volunteers can help keep their communities prepared. No medical background is necessary, and free training will be provided! For more information about the Southeast Idaho Medical Reserve Corps or to register as an MRC volunteer outside of Volunteer Idaho, please contact:
Trainer and MRC Coordinator
1901 Alvin Ricken Drive
Pocatello, ID 83201
For additional information about the Medical Reserve Corps, especially regarding the national MRC competencies and the local unit, please read the below documents:
MRC Core Competencies
MRC Volunteer Handbook