Home‎ > ‎

What is the Medical Reserve Corps?

The Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps (VBMRC) is a component of the Virginia Beach Citizens Corps Council (VBCCC).  The VBMRC provides healthcare professionals and others with an organized mechanism through which they can volunteer their time and skills in order to strengthen the City of Virginia Beach by preparing for and responding to large and small scale emergencies, such as an influenza pandemic, chemical spill, or act of terrorism.  In addition, the volunteers work to improve the overall health and well being of Virginia Beach by engaging in public health initiatives throughout the year.

What is the purpose of the VBMRC unit?

The purpose of the MRC program is to strengthen the community by establishing a local team of trained medical, public health, and other community volunteers.  After September 11, thousands of Americans responded by volunteering to help in any way they could.  Many more asked, "What can I do to help?"  The MRC brings volunteers together to supplement existing local emergency plans and resources in cities, towns, and counties throughout the United States.

Who can volunteer for the Virginia Beach Medical Reserve Corps?

A wide range of health professionals is needed to create an effective MRC unit:
  • Practicing, retired, or otherwise employed medical professionals, such as physicians, dentists, nurses, emergency medical technicians, pharmacists, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, medical assistants, nursing assistants, and others.
  • Public Health professionals.
  • Community members without medical training are also needed to volunteer to assist with administrative and other essential support functions.

What do VBMRC volunteers do?

Volunteer roles will vary depending on the nature of the emergency and the ongoing need for community health outreach and education.  Since major emergencies can overwhelm the capabilities of our first responders, especially during the first 12 to 72 hours, MRC volunteers will be trained and used to work in coordination with existing local emergency response programs.  Medical and other health volunteers can provide an important "surge" capacity during that critical period.  They may also be used to augment medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities.  Additionally, VBMRC volunteers will be called to help staff dispensing sites in the event of the need for mass vaccination or mass prophylaxis.  They are also utilized as medical staff during hurricane or other shelter operations.

MRC volunteers can also assist with local public health initiatives such as TB screenings, flu vaccinations, blood drives, and other outreach programs.

What training will I need?