Initiated in 2002, the Middlesex County Medical Reserve Corp was one of the first such programs created in the nation. Under a grant from the United States Office of the Surgeon General, the Medical Reserve Corps program is a critical element in the nation’s Citizen Corps initiative that is designed to augment existing health and medical staffing with community-based volunteers for deployment and use during all forms of emergency and disaster – especially for public health emergencies, including bioterrorism events and disease epidemics. In addition MRC focuses on improving the health, safety and resiliency of their local communities.
MRC units organize and utilize public health, medical and other volunteers to support existing local agencies with public health activities throughout the year and with preparedness and response activities for times of need. One goal of the MRC is to ensure that members are identified, screened, trained and prepared prior to their participation in any activity. While MRC units are principally focused on their local communities, it is clear that MRC volunteers could be vital to the success of response efforts in a statewide or national disaster as well.