Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of local volunteer units who engage their local communities to strengthen public health, reduce vulnerability, build resilience, and improve preparedness, response, and recovery capabilities.
NACCHO works in partnership with the Department of Health and Human Services, Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR), Medical Reserve Corps Program Office to:
- Increase awareness and understanding of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program;
- Promote, support, and build capacity within the MRC network;
- Enhance cooperation between the MRC Program Office and local/state/federal authorities to support and increase MRC capacities at the local level; and,
- Expand the efforts and capabilities of local MRC units to support their community-based public health, preparedness and response initiatives.
For more information, visit the ASPR MRC Program Office Webpage.
The NACCHO MRC Team is excited to release the 2019 MRC Deployment Readiness Guide, which includes a suite of new deployment readiness resources for MRC unit leaders and volunteers. Each of the deployment readiness resources is listed below with a description:
- Volunteer Management:
- Volunteer Tier Level Recommendations - The MRC volunteer tier levels were developed to identify national standards for MRC volunteers based on emergency response training and experience. This tier structure is adapted from an original structure developed for Virginia MRC units and can be modified based on your unit's needs. Find the full MRC tier structure on page 9 of the Deployment Readiness Guide.
- Deployment Readiness Checklist for Unit Leaders - The checklists cover all three phases of deployment and include a non-exhaustive yet comprehensive list of deployment activities including administration, training, equipment, response operations, and medical/safety activities. Examples and resources are also listed throughout the document. Find the Deployment Readiness Checklist on page 10 of the Deployment Readiness Guide.
- Volunteer Capabilities
- Updated MRC Core Competencies Training Plan – The updated training plan includes updated training courses and resources with no changes to the core competencies themselves. The new training plan also includes corresponding tier levels and course durations per recommended training. Learn more about the updated Core Competencies Training Plan in the Deployment Readiness Guide or on MRC TRAIN.
- Volunteer eLearnings (2) – The MRC eLearnings: 1) Pre-deployment and 2) Deployment/Post-deployment, were developed for MRC volunteers to develop foundational knowledge of what to expect before, during, and after deployments. Visit NACCHO University or MRC TRAIN to access the eLearnings from your laptop or mobile device.
- Unit Capabilities
- Mission Sets – Response Types (14) – The term ‘mission set’ describes a scalable response and recovery capability for MRC units and volunteers that is organized, developed, trained, and exercised prior to an emergency or disaster for local, state, and/or regional deployment purposes. All the MRC mission sets and accompanying resources can be found in the Deployment Readiness Guide.
NACCHO appreciates the contributions received to develop these resources and recognizes members of the NACCHO MRC Advisory Group and 7 MRC units that served as pilot sites for the NACCHO MRC Deployment Readiness project. For more information on the pilot sites project, see the Deployment Ready MRC FactSheet, below.
The 2017 Network Profile of the MRC report presents the newest data on Medical Reserve Corps unit funding, partnerships, composition, activities, and capabilities. These data were collected from a survey administered in spring 2017. A total of 769 units responded to the survey for a response rate of 82%. Thanks to all who made the study a success!
NACCHO, in collaboration with the MRC Program, developed a competency set for MRC Volunteers based on the Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health (DMPH).
The DMPH Competency set is designed specifically for disaster and public health preparedness, response, and management. They are widely understood to define the knowledge and skills needed for healthcare professionals and first responders to perform a task in a safe and consistent manner.
Learn about the newly adopted Competencies for Disaster Medicine and Public Health for MRC volunteers and resources available to implement a training plan.
Deployment readiness involves developing response and recovery resource capabilities that are organized, developed, trained, and exercised prior to emergencies or disasters. The Mission Ready Package (MRP) template is a resource developed by the National Emergency Management Association, that is available for State Emergency Managers as a part of the Emergency Management Assistance Compact.
Although MRPs are intended for state to state mutual aid, the template can be adapted at the local level for MRC units to identify their MRC resource capabilities when collaborating with local emergency planners. MRC Unit Coordinators can develop an MRP based on their local community response needs and the volunteer capabilities within their unit. The MRP can be used as a vehicle to train and develop teams for specific response roles and missions. Read the NACCHO Prep blog "An Ideal Match: Mission Ready Packages and the Medical Reserve Corps" for additional information on how MRC units can adapt MRPs for their local use.
The Developing Mission Ready MRC Units - A Resource Guide for MRC Unit Leaders provides background information on the EMAC system and the evolution of MRPs. The guide includes examples of emergency response activities that MRC units support, developing MRPs to fit local response needs, and examples of MRPs for MRC units. The MRP Resource Guide is available for download below and can also be found in NACCHO's Toolbox. You can search by title or select MRC toolkit from the drop down menu.
MRC units work on a broad range of emergency preparedness and public health projects. We have highlighted select projects to celebrate the variety and creativity of our MRC units across the country.
- South Hadley/Granby/Northampton MRC, Sheltering Residents with Substance Dependency
- Richmond City MRC, Preventing and Treating Chronic Disease
- Bureau Putnam MRC, Addressing the Opioid Epidemic
- Siouxland District Health Department, Iowa MRC, Fruit and Vegetable Prescription Program
- Greater Monadnock, New Hampshire MRC, Prescribe for Health
- LeFlore County, Oklahoma MRC, Mass Fatality Training
- King County MRC, Enhancing Community Collaboration & Coalition
NACCHO has developed the following Fact Sheets to highlight MRC units across the national network and encourage peer sharing:
MRC Train is a free, online e-learning platform with training modules for MRC unit leaders and volunteers. MRC units can also upload their own individualized training content to the TRAIN platform.
NACCHO University is another eLearning platform with self-paced learning modules created for MRC units around the Factors for Success and Core Competencies.
NACCHO has developed resources to assist MRC Unit Leaders and Stakeholders with their communication and messaging strategies. The NACCHO MRC Strategic Messaging Guide provides a roadmap for MRC units as they conduct community outreach and media interviews. It touches on the history of the MRC and shares some of the facts and figures behind this extraordinary organization.
Advocacy can build relationships with and educate policymakers; influence new and existing policies, laws, and budgets; and, encourage the creation of new programs. Learn how you can better collaborate and communicate with your local elected officials using NACCHO's Advocacy Toolkit.
MRC Photo Gallery
Unit Leaders gather at the 2017 MRC Leadership Summit.
MRC volunteers in California participate in an emergency preparedness exercise.
Manasota MRC, Florida
Manasota MRC support response to a fire at Port of Manatee in Palmetto, Florida by setting up a firefighter rehabilitation station in their Medical Aid Station Trailer (MAST).
Slack Water Training
South Carolina Veterinary Reserve Corps volunteers participate in a slack water training.