The Boston Medical Reserve Corps (Boston MRC) is a community-based volunteer program that prepares for and may respond to emergencies to help support the public health infrastructure of the City of Boston. Operating under the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP), members of the Boston MRC are organized and trained to address a wide range of challenges from disaster response to public health education. Boston MRC members from both the medical and nonmedical fields are leaders in their communities who donate their time and expertise in order to ensure that all Bostonians, especially the most vulnerable, are prepared and have access to the help they need during a public health emergency.
Who volunteers for the Boston MRC?
Our members are everyday people who live, work, or go to school in the City of Boston. You do not need to have a medical background to volunteer with the Boston MRC. All of our members have a skill to offer and play an important role. We are always looking for:
· Interpreters and individuals who can speak multiple languages
· People who have experience working with special needs populations
· Physicians, nurses, EMTs and other health professionals
· Anyone with a desire to help during a public health emergency
If you think you would be interested in serving your community and supplementing existing emergency and public health resources, now is the time to sign up. We can't call on you to help if we don't know who you are!
If there is a public health emergency and the Boston MRC is activated, will I be forced to volunteer?
No! Although we hope you will be a part of our response efforts, you always have the choice of whether or not to respond. You will never be forced to volunteer in an emergency or non-emergency situation.
What other volunteer activities are there outside of emergencies?
In addition to emergency response, the Boston MRC strives to strengthen the public health infrastructure of Boston. Overarching goals of the Boston MRC include improving health literacy, increasing disease prevention, eliminating health disparities, increasing community resiliency and educating Bostonians on public health preparedness. Boston MRC members have the opportunity to help carry out these goals and serve at a variety of non-emergency related events including the Boston Marathon, the Walk for Hunger, seasonal flu clinics, drills and exercises such as Urban Shield Boston and community outreach days.
Do I need special training to volunteer?
Before joining the Boston MRC, we ask that all potential members attend the Boston MRC Orientation. Orientation is generally held every other month from 6PM – 8:00PM, and you will learn about the history of the Boston MRC, examples of when you may be asked to volunteer, common policies and procedures to follow for when you volunteer, and how you can best prepare your household for an emergency. To join the Boston MRC and register for the Boston MRC Orientation, please visit our Join the Boston MRC page.
Is there anything else I need to do in order to become a member of the Boston MRC?
At the Boston MRC Orientation, we will ask you to submit to a Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) check. A CORI report includes records and data compiled by the Department of Criminal Justice Information Services (DCJIS), the Massachusetts agency statutorily designated to oversee the authorized release of CORIs. CORI checks will only be conducted as authorized by the DCJIS. CORI reports are reviewed by CORI certified staff in the Emergency Preparedness Bureau (EPB) at the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH). The Boston MRC may choose to participate with EPB staff in the review of the CORI report in accordance with the Boston Public Health Commission Human Resource policies and procedures. For a full explanation of the CORI policy, please visit MA Responds .
Are there any other benefits to joining the Boston MRC?
Yes! In partnership with the DelValle Institute for Emergency Preparedness, Boston MRC members have access to a great selection of free courses and seminars. Boston MRC members who are also emergency medical technicians and nurses can take special advantage of courses approved for continuing education hours. Nurses can receive continuing education units (CEU) for taking any of the core level courses or special topics courses. For EMS providers, application has been made for 2 hours of MA OEMS credits for all core and special topic courses. To find out if a course you are planning on attending is approved for continuing education, please call the DelValle Institute at 617-343-1370.