Salem County web

Medical Reserve Corps Unit Develops In-Field Resource for Volunteers

Mar 16, 2022 | Beth Hess

The Salem County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) serves 15 rural municipalities in southern New Jersey. Its 85 active members, who are “passionate about helping,” train with the local Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and Domestic Animal Sheltering (DASH) team.

Over the past two years the unit has assisted with various aspects of COVID-19 response, from testing to vaccine administration in all weathers. During this time the unit gained at least 40 new skills sets and just-in-time-training has been a key component of its onboarding and training activities.

In planning for future responses, MRC Coordinator Heather Byrne was looking for a quick and accessible tool to help volunteers in the field as they deploy in support of a variety of events.

“How do you remember CPR in the moment,” asked Byrne. “How do you know when someone transitions from heat exhaustion to heat stroke? What can allow a potential victim to use the pain scale if they can’t speak?”

In response to this need, Byrne created a Field Response Guide.

“It’s simple, wearable, laminated, and hole punched,” said Byrne.

Worn on a lanyard, the Guide’s 4 ¾ inch x 6 inch cards provide visual reminders of a range of skills and techniques that volunteers have trained on. It’s a “buildable tool” since cards can be added as volunteers complete additional trainings.

Byrne said she “worked with an amazing team to help put it together, including getting the right pictures to go with the training.” The unit was able to print and laminate the Guides in-house and distributed them to volunteers during the winter holiday party.

“They loved it,” said Byrne.


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