MONROE — County authorities are looking for volunteers to help with public-health emergencies and special events.
“The biggest area is for influenza epidemics, at vaccination clinics,” said Kim Comerzan, a health officer for the Monroe County Health Department. Recently, she said, “we were fortunate not to have any real emergencies, so we utilize them in training situations.”
Those situations, she said, include emergency preparedness drills for Fermi 2, the nuclear power plant in northeast Monroe County. The drills are held at various locations throughout the county.
About 60 people now volunteer for the Monroe County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC), but more are needed because some volunteers can be unavailable at times, Ms. Comerzan said.
Volunteers include health-care professionals such as physicians, nurses, physical and respiratory therapists, paramedics, and dentists as well as people from outside the medical profession to cover support roles.
“I feel it is important to stay involved with the community,” volunteer Marvin Hicks said. “I retired and I was looking to stay active with the community and use my years of experience, so I went through the orientation process and signed up.”
The retired Monroe Fire Department paramedic said he signed up for MRC in 2009 and has volunteered ever since. His involvement has included a bird-type flu clinic a couple of years ago, he said.
One-hour new-member orientations will be Jan. 16 at 10 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. in the county health department auditorium, 2353 S. Custer Rd., Monroe.
Topics will include history of the MRC, background, role in public health, and requirements and training. Advance registration is requested; contact Carolyn Gardetto, county MRC planner, at 734-240-7862 or by email at MRC@monroemi.org.
Those interested must attend one session, but individual orientations may be scheduled by calling 734-240-7862, according to a health department statement.
Group orientation sessions are held every quarter.
The MRC program has existed several years, and volunteers have done “an excellent job at meeting the needs during emergency situations,” Ms. Comerzan said.