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Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps

The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a committed group of volunteers, with and without medical backgrounds, who help keep Philadelphia safe by responding to public health emergencies.

Recent events have taught us that our cities need to be ready for anything, including natural disasters, terrorism, and disease outbreaks. The Philadelphia MRC helps ensure that all Philadelphians, especially the most vulnerable, receive the care they need during a public health emergency.

Volunteer requirements

  • Must be 18 years or older.
  • Maintain updated contact information with Philadelphia MRC in our SERVPA System.
  • Pass PA Justice Network Check.
    • A system that verifies your identity and checks your Pennsylvania Justice Department record.
    • This is automatically performed when you register with us in SERVPA.
  • Participate in at least one training, exercise, or deployment per year.
  • You do not need a medical license to volunteer.
    • To serve as a medical volunteer, you need to maintain an unencumbered and active medical license.

 Frequently asked questions about the Philadelphia MRC.

 

Get Started

Steps to Become a Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Volunteer:

1. REGISTER by completing a SERVPA Application.


2. Wait for an email regarding your acceptance into the Philadelphia MRC.

  • Applications may take a few weeks to be processed.

3. Once accepted, you will receive emails regarding trainings, exercises, drills, and volunteer deployment opportunities.

  • Let us know what works for your schedule & sign up!

4. Attend a New Volunteer Orientation Training.

The first step to becoming a Philadelphia MRC Volunteer is to register on State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania (SERVPA).

Enter all your personal information, including your legal name, birthdate, last four digits of your social security number, contact information, occupation, medical license (if applicable), and emergency contacts. The SERVPA system will automatically run a PA Justice Network check. Once your check is cleared, you will be accepted into the Philadelphia MRC.

All Philadelphia MRC volunteers must attend one Philadelphia MRC New Volunteer Orientation Training, but you’re welcome to keep coming if you would like a refresher. These are held three times a year. Notifications about new volunteer orientation trainings go out to volunteers through SERVPA by email as they are scheduled.

Student Group Volunteering
Students studying to become health care professionals can offer support to the MRC while gaining valuable skills and experience. University- or college-based groups, like campus response teams, can become sub-groups of the Philadelphia MRC.

Click here for more information or email mrc@phila.gov.


Volunteer Opportunities

The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) responds in three main ways during emergencies:

  • mass medication dispensing
  • medical care in emergency shelters
  • special event deployments

In addition to these main responses, the Philadelphia MRC offers trainings to help prepare for these events. See more information below.

Mass Medication Dispensing

Volunteers will assist at mass medication dispensing sites to serve either the general public or a specific population. Mass medication may include dispensing of pills, vaccines, or a combination of both. Licensed medical volunteers may assist with screening, dispensing, or vaccinating. Non-medical volunteers may assist in screening, dispensing, logistics, crowd control, and administrative tasks.

Medical Care in Emergency Shelters

Volunteers will assist in medical care in emergency shelters alongside the American Red Cross who may serve displaced populations during severe weather events. MRC volunteers will operate and coordinate the medical field clinic within the shelter. Licensed medical volunteers may perform assessments, dispense medications, and manage chronic diseases. They will report to a lead Philadelphia Department of Public Health physician for consultations. Non-medical volunteers may assist in administrative tasks, such as filling out intake forms and answering questions.

Special Event Deployments

Volunteers will assist the Philadelphia Fire Department Emergency Medical Services at special events such as marathon races, large festivals, National Special Security Events like the Papal visit or political conventions, or mass casualty incidents. Licensed medical volunteers may assist with health assessments and provide first aid. Non-medical volunteers may assist with administrative tasks and patient tracking activities.

Trainings

The Philadelphia MRC offers various trainings to help prepare volunteers for deployment or help increase their knowledge in emergency preparedness. Some trainings offer free continuing education for licensed volunteers (MD, PA, RN, social worker, and pharmacists). Training topics include: Psychological First Aid, Social Media in Disasters, Radiation Emergencies, Incident Command System (ICS), and much more.


Current Volunteers

Thank you to all our Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) volunteers. Currently, we have over 2,500 volunteers and counting!

We appreciate your dedication to our organization. Make sure to log into your SERVPA account to update your information and receive upcoming volunteer opportunities.

Click here for SERVPA.

Contact us at mrc@phila.gov.

Volunteer Communication

Once volunteers register and are accepted in the Philadelphia MRC, volunteers will receive notifications about volunteer opportunities/trainings through the email provided in their SERVPA account.

Deployment Process

Once volunteers register and are accepted in the Philadelphia MRC, volunteers will receive notifications about volunteer opportunities/trainings through the email provided in their SERVPA account.

  1. Survey for availability
    • Philadelphia MRC will either email and/or text message you for your availability.
    • YOU respond with your availability by completing an electronic survey or by replying to an email or a text message.


  2. Confirmation of shift
    • Philadelphia MRC will email, text, call via phone to confirm your shift.
    • YOU respond to confirm your shift by following instructions in the message.

  3. YOU show up at the deployment.

PLEASE LET US KNOW IF YOU CAN'T MAKE IT! Please be mindful that many volunteers would like the opportunity to participate at events. If you cannot make it, let us know.


enroll

For information on upcoming volunteer opportunities, visit our Philadelphia MRC Facebook page.

Visit the pages below to learn about what public health emergencies are, what we are doing to prepare, and what you can do to prepare.

Facts About Public Health Emergencies
What the PDPH is Doing to Prepare
What You Can Do to Prepare

 

Contact

Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps
Beau Sanchez, MRC Coordinator
500 South Broad Street, 2nd Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19146
Phone: 215-685-6496
Fax:  215-545-8362
email


Medical Reserve Corps >>


If you live or work outside of Philadelphia and would prefer to volunteer in another Southeast Pennsylvania county, please contact your local agency: :

Bucks County MRC
Suzanne Redington, MPH, CPH
215-345-3321
email

Chester County MRC
Suzanne Curtis, Coordinator
610-344-6083
email
Chester County Medical Reserve Corps

Delaware County MRC
Edwin C. Kline, B.A., EMT-B
610-565-8700
email

Montgomery County MRC
610-278-5117 x6721
email