The Palo Alto MRC, one branch of the Palo Alto Emergency Services Volunteer (ESV) program, is community-based and functions as a way to locally organize and utilize volunteers who want to donate their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies and promote healthy living throughout the year. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many community members—interpreters, chaplains, office workers, legal advisors, and others—can fill key support positions.
Photo Credit: John Williams
Why Should I Volunteer?
You've worked hard in your career to master a variety of skills – in medicine, public health, safety, logistics, communications or a number of other areas. Volunteering with the Medical Reserve Corps is a simple and effective way to use and improve those skills, while helping to keep your family, friends and neighbors safe and healthy. For example, you may put those skills to use during an emergency, or while providing some services for the most vulnerable members of your community. Imagine a community – or a nation – in which everyone volunteered. Everyone would expand their skills and knowledge. Everyone would be healthier. And everyone would have a more meaningful life. This is a future we all can work towards.
What Would I Do As A Volunteer?
MRC volunteers train - individually and with other members of the unit - in order to improve their skills, knowledge and abilities. Sometimes the training is coursework, and other times it is part of a drill or exercise conducted with partner organizations in the community. Continuing education units and credits are even available for some programs. Many MRC volunteers assist with activities to improve public health in their community – increasing health literacy, supporting prevention efforts and eliminating health disparities. In an emergency, local resources get called upon first, sometimes with little or no warning. As a member of an MRC unit, you can be part of an organized and trained team. You will be ready and able to bolster local emergency planning and response capabilities. The specific role that you will play, and the activities in which you will participate, will depend upon your background, interests and skills, as well as the needs of the Palo Alto MRC and the community.