Thurston County Medical Reserve Corp Volunteers Offer Aid Throughout the Year

Photo courtesy: Thurston County Public Health

Submitted by Thurston County Public Health and Social Services

What do the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic, the 2016 Canoe Journey Paddle to Nisqually and back to school immunization clinics have to do with each other?  All three of these recent events featured the partnership and community involvement of the Thurston County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  The Thurston County MRC is operated by the Thurston County Public Health & Social Services Emergency Preparedness Program.

This summer, Thurston County MRC volunteers participated in several different events. All of which were chosen to practice skills that could be needed in a local health emergency or disaster. Here are a few examples:

  • In July, they ran the medical first aid tent at the Tenino rest stop as a part of the Seattle to Portland Bicycle Classic. They served 177 people in one day.
  • Later that month they partnered with Nisqually Health Department and numerous other tribal partners as a part of the 2016 Canoe Journey Paddle to Nisqually. This event hosted by the Nisqually Tribe spanned the course of nine days.  MRC involvement included running a medical first aid station at Burfoot Park and the Port of Olympia as part of the Canoe Landings and on the Nisqually Reservation.  These efforts served over 1,000 people.
  • Near the end of summer, the MRC supported two back to school immunization clinics. These clinics offered required school immunizations to families here in Thurston County.  The clinics served about 130 children.
The Thurston Medical Reserve Corp offers medical aid at events such as the STP and Nisqually Canoe Journey. Photo courtesy: Thurston County Public Health
The Thurston Medical Reserve Corp volunteers are ready for the Back to School Immunization Clinic. Photo courtesy: Thurston County Public Health

As you can see, the MRC is unique program that engages community volunteers in a variety opportunities to support public health emergency preparedness and response. The 100 plus current Thurston County MRC volunteers include medical and non-medical professionals who use their unique skills and expertise to support the community.

The MRC is always looking for individuals who want to volunteer to help if something significant does happen locally.  Currently, the MRC is especially interested in recruiting more nurses, nurse practitioners and translators. However, all kinds of skills are welcome and can be used. Consider applying this fall.

Learn more at: http://www.co.thurston.wa.us/health/admin/preparedness/mrc.html  To apply, contact Jennifer Dixon at 360-867-2609 or dixonjm@co.thurston.wa.us

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