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Public Health Emergency Volunteer Reserve/Medical Reserve Corps

What is PHEVR/MRC?

PHEVR/MRC stands for Public Health Emergency Volunteer Reserve/Medical Reserve Corps. It is a partnership between the state and local health departments and communities throughout the state of North Dakota.  The PHEVR/MRC program enhances the ability of North Dakota’s health and medical system to respond in a public health emergency situation.

What is the purpose of PHEVR/MRC?

PHEVR/MRC’s mission is to provide medical and non-medical personnel to assist in a public health emergency.  The purpose of the PHEVR program is to recruit volunteers (medical and non-medical) and train them before an event occurs to thus save time in the response phase of a public health emergency.

North Dakota a database of PHEVR/MRC volunteers will be maintained by the North Dakota Department of Health Emergency Preparedness and Response Section.  It should help minimize the number of spontaneous volunteers and maximize the response capacity in the event of an emergency.

Why is PHEVR/MRC necessary?

Every disaster has a public health component.  A public health emergency situation could range from a flood to an influenza epidemic.  Having a pool (database) of identified and pre-screened volunteers will aid in the response time, and thus enable officials to help the community recover from the disaster quicker.

What eligibility requirements are there to sign up for PHEVR/MRC?

For safety reasons, all PHEVR/MRC volunteers must be at least 16 years old and live, work, or go to school in North Dakota.  Individuals that are deployed as a PHEVR/MRC volunteer would be covered under ND Worker’s Compensation if injured while assisting as a PHEVR/MRC volunteer in an emergency situation.

What volunteer roles are available for individuals with medical backgrounds?

A variety of medical positions would need to be filled in the event that a mass clinic was needed to dispense antibiotics or to provide immunizations to the general public.  These might include:


►   Triage (Nurse/EMT):  Direct ill patients to special areas for assistance
►   Medical Screeners:    Review patient history and answer questions
►   Patient Education:  Extensive medical screening and referral
►   Physician Evaluators:  Evaluate ill/additional screening
►   Vaccinator:  Administer immunizations
►   EMT:  Provide emergency medical assistance

What volunteer roles are available for individuals with non-medical backgrounds?

Volunteers that perform non-medical tasks are just as critical as medical personnel.  Some of the roles for non-medical staff may include:


►   Information Distribution:  Assemble and hand out packets
►   Logistics/Supplies:  Order, distribute, and track supplies
►   Data Entry:  Collect registration info and retain records
►   Traffic Flow:  Maintain order in parking areas
►   Security:  Maintain security and crowd control.
►   Interpreter
►   Technology Support:  Information technology set-up and support.
►   General Volunteer Assistance:  Orientation, referral, and float staff

How will I be contacted to provide emergency health care services?

When you fill out your volunteer profile you provide contact information including home, work, and cellular phone numbers. In the event of an emergency requiring PHEVR/MRC volunteer assistance you will be contacted through our Health Alert Network (HAN) Volunteers are able to rank their contact preferences. If there is not a response to the HAN message, it will move to the next contact means on the list.

I would like to volunteer, but does that mean I have to volunteer everywhere within the state of North Dakota?

When you register as a PHEVR/MRC volunteer you are given options to reflect your deployment preferences. The choices are local, regional, statewide, or national response. If you choose local, deployment preference is emergency medical response in your local area. If you indicate a regional deployment preference, you may be notified of events in a multi-county area. If you choose statewide your preference is to respond anywhere in the state of North Dakota. National response implies that your preference is local, statewide, or anywhere in the United States there is a need for emergency medical response. A call for volunteers will be sent out according to deployment preferences, but if there are not a sufficient number of volunteers to fit the need of the response effort another call for volunteers may occur outside of deployment preferences.
Please note: Regardless of deployment preferences, all deployments are voluntary.
 
How will I know what to do if I am contacted to volunteer?

The Health Alert Network message will be the first means of communication. The first HAN message will let you know that a request is being made for volunteers.  The message will instruct you to go to a website to indicate that you are available to volunteer for this event.  A second HAN alert message will inform you that your offer to assist has been accepted and you will be directed to the website to receive your assignment and other important information. A volunteer is not deployed unless both HAN messages are received. There may also be a message regarding deployment assignment posted on the Health Alert Network webpage (www.ndhan.gov/PHEVR/Volunteers.asp). This message will include information about where to report, what credentials to bring and any other requirements necessary.

What is expected of PHEVR/MRC volunteers?

At a minimum, PHEVR/MRC volunteers must update their contact information and volunteer profiles when information is no longer current, or at least once every six months.  Even if the information hasn’t changed within that time period, volunteers are asked to log into their account at least once every six months so the Department of Health knows that account is being monitored. PHEVR/.MRC volunteers are required to fulfill the training requirement by watching the PHEVR/MRC orientation video. Volunteers are also expected to participate in drills with the ND Department of Health.  Periodically, the ND Department of Health will conduct a drill to contact volunteers using the established process.  These drills will help work out any problems in advance of an actual emergency. Volunteers will be contacted by telephone or email and instructed how to respond.  It’s very important that all volunteers who are contacted for these drills respond in the established way in a timely manner so the ND Department of Health can verify what works well and what part of the process might need minor adjustments.

What protections does being a part of PHEVR/MRC have?

Once you are an activated PHEVR/MRC volunteer and serve as designated agents of the North Dakota Department of Health during a public health emergency, you are covered by worker’s compensation and state tort laws that cover liability.

What type of information do I need to provide as an emergency volunteer to register with this system?

The PHEVR/MRC system will include volunteer contact information, licensure (when applicable), certifications, degree, and skills.

What kind of training can I expect?

PHEVR/MRC volunteers will receive “Just in Time” training at the site where they are directed to report. PHEVR/MRC volunteers have the option of participating in local, regional or state trainings. Many trainings are available at the North Dakota Department of Health Website and be completed at your convenience at www.ndhealth.gov/ET/WebcastCalendar by clicking the Archived Webcasts/Trainings link.

How do I register for PHEVR/MRC?

You can register online to become a PHEVR/MRC volunteer. Go to www.ndhealth.gov/EPR/volunteer and fill out a detailed profile which includes contact information, deployment preferences and other important information for verifying credentials of our volunteers.

How do I contact someone for more information?

For more information contact Marie Ricketts at 701-328-5250 or email mricketts@nd.gov

 

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North Dakota Department of Health Emergency Preparedness & Response Section
918 East Divide Avenue, Bismarck, ND 58505, 701.328.2270

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