Medical Reserve Corps 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 4 MRC (Southwest Washington) 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.

About Region 4 MRC of SW Washington


The mission of the Region 4 MRC of Southwest Washington is to engage volunteers, both medical and non-medical, to strengthen public health emergency response and community resilience while bridging gaps in access to care. This MRC may be called upon to serve in Clark, Cowlitz, Skamania, and Wahkiakum counties as well as supporting the Cowlitz Indian Tribe.

MRC volunteers with gear

The Region 4 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
MRC Vaccinators

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. Individuals 18 years of age and older from all backgrounds are welcome including students, business professionals, retirees, and others with an assortment of skills. 

Medical volunteers:

  • Providers licensed in the state of WA (e.g., dentists, 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
  • Providers licensed in states other than WA when permitted under an emergency declaration

Non-medical licensed and credentialed volunteers:

  • Licensed behavioral health providers
  • Health educators
  • Sanitarians and environmental health specialists
  • Members of emergency response teams

Administrative and other skilled volunteers:

  • 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

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

The following courses are required for all MRC volunteers: 

It is recommended to also take:

For additional training opportunities, visit the MRC training portal  and sign up for the MRC training plan


If you are ready to move forward, the following application material can be completed. 

  1. Region 4 MRC webform application 
  2. Photo release form 
  3. Confidentiality form 
  4. Background check authorization

Once our paperwork is processed, we will send you a link to register as an emergency worker in WA. 

If you have any questions, please email us at

MRC volunteers

Contact information

Region 4 Public Health 
Emergency Preparedness and Response 

Training opportunities