Emergency response volunteers

MRC volunteers

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is part of Citizens Corps and a national network of volunteers dedicated to help promote public health and improve on safety, preparedness, and emergency response capabilities. The need for the MRC became apparent after the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, when medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency relief activities, found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. As a result, the MRC was established to recruit, train, and activate medical and public health professionals and other volunteers to respond to community health needs during disasters and public health emergencies. MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals as well as non-medical community volunteers, all with a variety of essential knowledge and skills.

The Region IV MRC volunteers help support the needs in Clark, Cowlitz, Wahkiakum and Skamania counties and the Cowlitz Tribe. Volunteers will receive valuable training, participate in exercises, and be at the heart of the response. Volunteers’ expertise and experience may also be valuable during non-emergencies or routine responses to public health concerns.

Who can volunteer?

MRC - vaccinators - banner

Opportunities are available for a variety of trained volunteers with different skills and knowledge. Volunteers will be asked to fill roles based on their expertise and experience, and the needs of the emergency response. People from all backgrounds are welcome, including students, business professionals, retirees and others with an assortment of skills.

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  • Medical providers licensed to vaccinate and/or prescribe (e.g., dentists, EMT, MA, MD, ARNP, PA, PA-C, pharmacists, RN, NP)
  • Emergency medical technicians and paramedics
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Phlebotomists
  • Veterinarians
  • Occupational health, industrial hygiene, and infection prevention, including N95 fit testers
  • Those with other medical, healthcare, or public health backgrounds
  • Retired Volunteer Medical Workers registered with the state of Washington
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  • Licensed behavioral health providers
  • Health educators
  • Sanitarians and environmental health specialists
  • Members of emergency response teams
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  • HAM radio operators 
  • Computer or technical skills
  • Organizational skills
  • Marketing and communications skills
  • Those with proficiency in languages other than English
  • Others on a case-by-case basis

What types of emergencies can I volunteer at?

MRC volunteers with gear

The Region IV MRC may be activated to respond to:

  • Natural disasters such as fires, floods, and earthquakes
  • Biological and chemical terrorism such as anthrax exposures
  • Disease outbreaks and investigations such as pandemic influenza

Volunteers may participate in many different activities that increase the community’s ability to recover from disasters. Some examples include:

  • Emergency preparedness and response trainings and exercises
  • Disaster medical and behavioral health support
  • Disaster clean-up and recovery support
  • Community education and outreach
  • Community vaccination clinics
  • Disease testing and surveillance
  • First aid and medical support during large public gatherings
  • Emergency shelter operations and medical care
  • Medical facility surge support
  • Mass dispensing efforts (e.g., medication, water, other supplies)
  • Support services to disaster call centers, family assistance centers, and reception/evacuation centers
  • Emergency operations center and communications support
  • Emergency preparedness and response planning, logistical, and administrative support

How do I sign up?

To join the amazing Region IV MRC team, please complete the volunteer registration (PDF) form. Email completed forms to region4mrc.ph@clark.wa.gov or fax to 360.759.6761. Once processed, you will be contacted for orientation.

Contact information

Region IV Public Health 
Emergency Preparedness and Response 
564.397.8485
Lianne Martinez