Major emergencies can overwhelm the capabilities of first responders, particularly during the first 12 to 72 hours. Medical and other health volunteers can provide an important "surge" capacity during this critical period. They also can augment medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities. In short, communities often need medically trained individuals to fill in the gaps in their emergency response plans and to improve their response capabilities overall.
Possible types of "front-line" medical and public health volunteers include:
- Dental Assistants
- Emergency medical technicians
- Health educators/communicators
- Infectious disease specialists
- Mental health practitioners (psychologists, substance abuse counselors, social workers)
- Nurses (nurse practitioners, registered nurses, licensed practical nurses, nursing assistants)
- Physicians (including surgeons, medical specialists, osteopaths)
- Physician Assistants
- Public health workers
Administrative & Support Volunteers
Other volunteers who have no medical or healthcare backgrounds also are needed to properly conduct emergency preparedness and response efforts. Community members without medical training can assist with administrative and other essential support functions. These volunteers give their time on an ongoing basis in coordination with other experts willing to donate their time and knowledge for special aspects of the effort.
United States citizenship is not required to be part of the MRC. Non-citizen, legal U.S. residents also are welcome to volunteer and contribute their time, knowledge, and skills to protecting and improving their communities.
Individuals with a non-medical or healthcare background typically serve their community by assisting with administrative and other essential support functions. Possible types of administrative and other support volunteers include:
- Administrative assistants and office support staff
- Administrators and business managers
- Amateur radio operators
- Fundraising professionals
- Supply and logistics managers
- Training directors
- Volunteer coordinators