Gloucester County to launch Medical Reserve Corps County recruiting physicians, nurses, pharmacists and emergency medical technicians to volunteer for the Medical Reserve Corps
(Woodbury, NJ) - Gloucester County Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney and Freeholder Helene M. Reed announced today that the County's Department of Health and Senior Services is launching a Medical Reserve Corps. The Gloucester County Medical Reserve Corps (GCMRC) will be comprised of volunteers in the health care and emergency medical professions will work in coordination with local public health emergency response staff on a number of programs.
"Gloucester County participated in a full functional exercise in April 2005 called TopOff 3. One of the lessons learned from this exercise was the need for volunteers to supplement the department's trained public health staff. Utilizing existing local emergency response plans, the Gloucester County Department of Health and Senior Services is looking to expand its volunteer corps," said Freeholder Director Stephen M. Sweeney.
Freeholder Director Sweeney said that what they county learned during the TopOff 3 exercise is that the county would need extra help if there was a need to prophylaxes all residents. "If the county had to prophylaxes all 250,000 residents, we'd need to do this on shifts throughout the day. The Health Department only has a staff of 70, so we'd need extra support from the community to accomplish this big task, that is where the GCMRC would come in," Director Sweeney stated.
Sweeney said, "The GCMRC will provide a great service to all the residents of Gloucester County. Through the work of the volunteers, the county will strengthen its capability to respond to all disasters."
Freeholder Helene M. Reed, liaison to the Department of Health and Senior Services explained that, in conjunction with the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, the county has recently begun recruitment of volunteer physicians, nurses, pharmacists and emergency medical technicians as well as other interested community members to form the GCMRC.
Reed said that County has been recruiting volunteers by way of the county website by encouraging individuals when doing various trainings and presentations. Both the Health Department and the Office of Emergency Management have applications on-hand and available/accessible in the front lobby areas for the public.
"The GCMRC will work in coordination with local public health emergency response staff on a number of programs, including the mass distribution of medications, technical assistance to public health staff, and education to the community at the time of a disaster. Responsibilities of the GCMRC may include patient care, reception, food service, transportation, data entry and clerical support," Freeholder Reed said.
Individuals interested in participating and serving as part of the GCMRC can visit our website at http://www.co.gloucester.nj.us/Government/Departments/HealthInstit/BT/volunteer.htm or call 856-307-4802. To date, a total of 55 individuals have registered to become part of this initiative.