Frequently Asked Questions
What do I have to do to register?
You can register on-line at Ohio Responds or by contacting your county Medical Reserve Corps coordinator (details on the homepage. They will contact you with more information about how your skills could best be used in an emergency.
Which health care professionals are you targeting?
Health professionals from all of the health occupations, those who are licensed or trained, either practicing or not practicing, and those who wish to receive general, all-hazards training as well as training for specific health events. Also targeted are all interested people from the community who could provide support such as those with multi-language skills, administrative skills, transportation training, etc.
What other types of volunteers are you looking for?
Volunteers who do not have formal (or any medical training) are welcome to apply with the Medical Reserve Corps. Although our focus is medical emergencies, there will be a great need for volunteers with a variety of skills and expertise. However, there are other volunteer groups that are available if you wish to not be involved in a medical environment. Examples of these are the American Red Cross or Community Emergency Response Team.
How many people will be needed?
This will be dependant on the emergency and the needs of the community. In Ohio, we are striving to register and train as many volunteers as possible, so that, should an emergency of any kind occur, volunteers would already be registered and ready to be alerted and called into service, as needed.
Am I responsible for volunteering with the MRC if my employer needs me or I have family commitments that do not allow me to volunteer at the time of an emergency?
As an MRC volunteer, Family and work commitments are understood and should be your first priority. You should be as prepared as possible, and prepare your family, so that you may possibly be able to help. We hope you will plan ahead and be prepared to assist in your community with the Medical Reserve Corps, should an emergency occur.
What kind of training will I receive for dealing with medical emergencies?
Your county Medical Reserve Corps coordinator will review your information and will be contacting you to inform you of required or suggested training needed for an emergency response.
Does registering legally obligate me to volunteer in an emergency?
No. This is a voluntary registry and does not obligate you to assist in an emergency or any other situation. At the time there is an emergency, you may be alerted or called and asked to volunteer. The decision you make, at that time about volunteering, is up to you.
Are there any provisions for compensating me for time lost from work or other expenses?
At this point, there are no provisions for compensating volunteers for time lost from work, mileage, meal costs, etc. In the event of an emergency, there may be provisions available but these will need to be defined at the time of the event, based on the situation.
What protection might be available for volunteers against liability lawsuits?
Ohio Revised Code 121.404 provides liability protection to registered Ohio Medical Reserve Corps volunteers during local, state or federally declared emergencies, disasters, drills and trainings. The statute also exempts a registered volunteer's personal information on the Ohio Citizen Corps Database from public disclosure. To be covered under liability the volunteer must also be registered in the state database.
Will I be asked to volunteer for an emergency event outside of Ohio?
The state database is being kept in case of emergencies within the state of Ohio. However, the National Medical Reserve Corps and other disaster response agencies have contacted us during emergencies, such as the Katrina disaster; and you may be offered opportunities to join other organizations and assist in other states. Your service during such incidents is, of course, entirely voluntary.
How will I be contacted in an emergency?
When you register, you will be asked for the best ways to contact you. You will be asked to provide your email address, home address and/or telephone numbers. Your local or county public health agency will use this information to contact you both before and in the event of an emergency. Therefore, it is very important that you keep your contact information current.
What kind of risks will I be exposed to if I volunteer?
Volunteers may be needed in many different types of emergencies, which could include natural or manmade disasters, terrorist attacks that may be chemical, biological, or radiological, or other emergencies. Before being asked to volunteer, you will be given training on how to help in an emergency, as well as how to protect yourself. In any case, you will not be asked to attempt or perform any work for which you are not trained or prepared. Again, your service to the MRC is voluntary and it is your responsibility to perform within your scope of practice and skill.
Who Can Volunteer?
Whether you have medical skills, mental health skills or simply want to contribute to public health and safety, we are looking for a variety of willing volunteers.