The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program is a federally supported initiative through the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response. During responses to Katrina and 9/11 an influx of volunteers arrived at emergency response scenes to offer their help. These unsolicited volunteers unknowingly became an additional burden on the emergency response system, as they were unaffiliated with an agency and unaccounted for by on scene officials.
After those incidents, states were required to institute ESAR-VHP program – volunteer registry systems – to ensure that all emergency response volunteers could be accounted for and strategically placed according to their skill level.
The North Carolina Office of Emergency Medical Services (NCOEMS) serves as the lead agency for management and support of established Medical Reserve Corps organizations in North Carolina. The NC Medical Reserve Corps Coordinator provides guidance and assistance to local MRC Units and has responsibility for federal reporting.
NCOEMS sponsors and supports an annual MRC Symposium which offers training, outreach and a forum for collaboration and open discussion.
North Carolina houses seventeen MRC Units to include one newly approved state unit. Ten are established within local health departments and 8 are within the Healthcare Coalitions.
The newly approved unit is the Radiological Emergency Volunteer Corps (REVC). This Unit is task specific and will respond during radiological emergencies to support counties with staffing and setup of congregate care and community reception centers during evacuations.