CUMBERLAND — The Allegany and Garrett County Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps are recruiting community members to become registered responders to serve as volunteers during an emergency.
Maryland Responds participants are invited to participate in training opportunities and preparedness drills and they can choose to be alerted automatically when emergency volunteer needs occur locally, regionally, statewide or even nationally. Maryland Responders are always free to choose which opportunities they will respond to or pass on.
Although the name of the program includes the word medical, many volunteer roles don’t require any special medical training.
“Maryland Responders come from all walks of life and all cultural and professional backgrounds,” said Brenda Caldwell, unit administrator for the Allegany MRC. “There are many roles that nonmedical volunteers can play in a public health emergency, such as staffing a temporary shelter, answering hotline phone calls, directing traffic or guiding folks through a temporary clinic, assisting with registration forms, setup and cleanup and much more.”
Occasionally, volunteers may be asked to assist their communities with ongoing public health activities such as screenings, health and nutrition education, public health clinics and blood drives.
A free Maryland Responds regional mini-conference is scheduled May 8 at the Garrett County Health Department. The conference will feature information on Maryland Responds, training sessions for registered and prospective responders on a variety of emergency preparedness topics and a registration station to get started in Maryland Responds.