Medical Reserve Corps

The Medical Reserve Corps is part of Citizen Corps. Medical Reserve Corps units are community based and serve to locally organize and use volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. Volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.

The Wheeling–Ohio County Medical Reserve Corps is a network of health and medical professionals, animal care volunteers, secretaries, geographic information specialists, and others. This diverse group brings life-saving skills to emergency operations. They are integral in responding effectively to a disaster. The Corps helps provide public health services throughout Ohio County. In addition, the Medical Reserve Corps is the principal structure in which Ohio County addresses medical needs in disasters for the county’s 50,000 residents.

The Medical Reserve Corps operates independently but works with Wheeling Hospital, Ohio Valley Medical Center, and academic institutions to ensure that a trained cadre of health and medical volunteers are available to respond to any form of emergency to help first responders.

The Medical Reserve Corps seeks to establish teams of local volunteer medical and public health professionals who can contribute their skills and expertise throughout the year as well as during times of community need.

Founded in early 2002, the Medical Reserve Corps is an integral part of the United States Citizen Corps initiative, in which American citizens volunteer their time and talents for the benefit of the community. The Citizen Corps initiative provides the organization and training needed to make the most of these volunteers.

The Medical Reserve Corps is headquartered in the Office of the U.S. Surgeon General. It functions as a clearinghouse for information and best practices to help communities establish, implement, and maintain Corps units across the nation. The program office sponsors an annual leadership conference, hosts a web site, and coordinates with local, state, regional, and national organizations and agencies to help communities achieve their local visions for public health and emergency preparedness.

What types of volunteers are needed?

The Wheeling–Ohio County Medical Reserve Corps is especially interested in the following professional specialties, but other health and medical professionals are always welcome:

• Physicians
• Dentists/Dental hygienists
• Mental health professionals
• Physician assistants
• Registered nurses
• Nursing assistants
• Nurse practitioners
• Nurse anesthetists
• Licensed practical nurses
• Respiratory therapists
• Physical therapists
• Social workers
• Health educators
• Pharmacists and technicians
• Massage therapists
• EMTs/Paramedics
• Veterinarians

Retired, licensed professionals will also have the opportunity to keep their skills current and use their years of experience in life-saving care.

If I am not a licensed health care provider, can I still volunteer?
YES! In addition to medical professionals the Wheeling-Ohio County Citizens Corps needs all types of volunteers and would be pleased to talk with anyone interested in volunteering. Here are some examples of volunteers who would be essential following a disaster:

• Secretaries
• Medical records specialists
• Information technologists
• Pastoral care providers
• Animal care volunteers
• Day care personnel
• GIS specialists
• College students

What activities are available?

Mass Inoculation
In a disease outbreak, bioterrorism event, or natural disaster like floods or flu outbreaks, volunteers will administer mass inoculations or distribute oral medications.

Mass Casualty
Mass casualty consists of critical care health professionals working at the scene of a major disaster supporting the first responders.

Mass Care
If a disaster requiring the evacuation occurs, mass care shelters will need to be established and staffed. Medical Reserve Corps volunteers and the American Red Cross will staff the shelters and care for displaced citizens.

Incident Support
Medical Reserve Corps members would support local police, firefighters, and EMT/Paramedics with massages, foot care, minor first aid, information tracking, counseling, and support at the local emergency operations center.

Training is free, which is subject to change if a course is taught by an outside entity that charges a fee. All volunteers will be provided with Basic Incident Command, Orientation to Disaster Services, Disease Transmission Prevention, Basic Life Support, and AED training.

Home study or Internet-based courses also are offered every three months. At least one classroom-based course occurs every six months. If a special issue arises, courses will be conducted as needed.

If you or your organization would like to receive more information about the Medical Rerserve Corps program please contact us. To volunteer, download an application (Word document application) and mail back to the address provided at the bottom of the page.

Wayland Harris Deputy Director 304-234-3756

Wayland Harris
Deputy Director