Alvin McMahon, a Somerset resident who is the director of the
Greater Fall River Medical Reserve Corps,
was asked to manage a shelter that was set up for some
of the people who were displaced from their homes because of
the recent tornado in the western part of the state.
For the complete news release
Update - MRC/Boston Marathon 2013
Ten MRC units supplied approximately 200 volunteers (both medical and
non-medical) to the Boston Athletic Association (BAA) to provide medical and
other support for the race. We have received confirmation from the BAA/Medical
Sweep Team Leader that all volunteers are accounted for and safe. There have
been no reports of any MRC volunteer injuries.
" The Brookline MRC and CERT staffed a shelter site for runners immediately
following the event. One MRC volunteer was actually a marathon participant and
went directly from the race to the shelter to assist.
" The Region 4a MRC (and we suspect other units as well) are working with the
BAA and the Massachusetts Support Network to make sure that MRC volunteers
have access to Behavioral Health Services.
" Immediately following the event, many MRC units in Massachusetts were placed
on alert. At this point, there have been no requests for further MRC assistance,
and all MRC volunteers have been released from stand-by.
As we reflect on, and recover from, this event, I must stress the importance of the
MRC remaining active - and even increasing activity - in these types of large-scale
public events. MRC volunteers not only have the opportunity to hone their skills,
work as a team, and provide a public service as part of first aid and medical
sweep teams, but they become prepared, trained and in-place assets ready if
needed for any possible response. By participating at a race, air show or other
large gathering, your MRC volunteers are remaining engaged, helping their
community, and filling an integral role to assist
those in need, if a crisis does occur.
When MRC volunteers are called into action, mental health support should also be
made available. This is happening now in Boston - for the victims, their families,
by-standers and the responders. While it is sometimes our first inclination to duck
and cover - or to avoid these types of events - I am sure that those at the Boston
Marathon are proud to have helped, even though they may now also need support
in handling the severity and overwhelming nature of what took place. I know many
MRC units have included Psychological First Aid as part of their training plans,
and I encourage those that haven't to do so. In addition, CDR Jeff Coady, our
excellent partner from SAMHSA, has provided an incredible repository of
behavioral health resources specific to response. The following link includes
those they have compiled on stress and resilience:
We hope you will take the time to review them and identify tools that may help you
and/or your volunteers to handle a potentially difficult response or crisis. We hope
to make more on this subject available to you very soon.
You may also be searching for resources on blast injuries, how to respond, and
how to prepare. I encourage you to visit
Here you will find a great wealth of information and a starting point for any
training, education, or planning you intend to do on the subject.
Please join me in thanking the MRC volunteers present at the Boston Marathon for
their heroism, volunteerism, and continued dedication. You made us all proud,
and we continue to keep you, and all those affected by this senseless attack, in
our thoughts and prayers. This event has shown - once again - that the years of
time and effort (and funding) for planning, preparing, training, partnering and
collaborating were of tremendous benefit, and I know that MRC units will continue
to play their phenomenal role in making sure communities are healthier, safer and
Robert J Tosatto, (HHS/OASH)
How you can prepare for disasters and public health emergencies.
American Medical Association. 2011
Download this important booklet
Yale New Haven Center for Emergency Preparedness and
Disaster Response Preparedness Report.
The Preparedness Report is a digest of informational links
that contain current news clips,
press releases and new information from a variety of sources
on the subject of emergency preparedness
and disaster response
that we believe may be of value to you.
Yale Preparedness Reports Archive
IS-22 Are You Ready?
An In-depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness
The "Are You Ready?
An In-Depth Guide to Citizen Preparedness"
Program has been designed to help the citizens of this nation
learn how to protect themselves and their families against all types
of hazards. It can be used as a reference source
or as a step-by-step manual.
The focus of the content is on how to develop, practice, and maintain emergency
plans that reflect what must be done before,
during, and after a disaster.
How to protect people and their property. Included is
information on how to assemble a disaster supplies kit
which contains the food, water, and other supplies in sufficient quantity
for individuals and their families to survive.
Now ON Line
The Medical Reserve Corps – Helping a Nation Heal
To the men and women of the Medical Reserve Corps:
As medical professionals, we know that healing can take time. As America
and the world prepare to mark the 10-year anniversary of the terrorist attacks on
our country, we remember September 11, 2001, with many emotions: sadness for
the families of the more than 3,000 people who lost their lives that day and
admiration for the heroes who provided aid and comfort to the victims.
As Assistant Secretary for Health and as U.S. Surgeon General, we reflect with
pride that members of the United States Public Health Service (USPHS)
Commissioned Corps served as some of the most important responders to the
destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City. Furthermore, the USPHS
helped to ensure the health and safety of rescue workers and the general public
during the anthrax incidents in the weeks that followed.
We also note that these tragic events brought national attention to the need
for the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). Initiated as a demonstration project early in
2002, the MRC now represents a nationwide network of local groups of volunteers
committed to improving the health, safety and resiliency of their communities.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as
others interested in strengthening the public health infrastructure and improving
the preparedness and response capabilities of their local jurisdictions.
Today, the MRC is a force that has more than 200,000 volunteers in more than 950
community-based units across the nation.
Those of you who serve our country in this capacity now spend a significant
amount of time planning and preparing for disasters as diverse as hurricanes,
floods, bioterrorism attacks, pandemics, dirty bombs and more. Many of you were
recently deployed to the East Coast to assist with Hurricane Irene response
efforts. During other recent disasters, such as the BP oil spill, floods in the
Midwest and tornadoes in the Southeast, you have proven your commitment to
the people of the United States.
Many of you have left your families and traveled to faraway places to set up clinics
in devastated areas in order to meet the basic health needs of underserved and
vulnerable populations. You have worked with community partners to provide
medical, dental, vision, mental health, pharmacy, nursing and veterinary care to all
who come. You have succeeded in doing all of this with kindness, friendship and
a true sense of joy and camaraderie.
As we approach this solemn 10-year anniversary, President Obama is calling for
Americans to “honor the victims of 9/11 and to reaffirm the strength of our nation
with acts of service.” We thank you for exemplifying that spirit through your
dedication and commitment to helping those in need. Each and every one of you
reflects what is best in America!
Thank you for your extraordinary gift to our country
and for helping us heal.
Howard Koh, M.D., M.P.H.
Assistant Secretary for Health
Regina M. Benjamin, M.D., M.B.A.
U.S. Surgeon General
For Your Information