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Mental & physical health

Volunteer for the Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

Emergencies can happen at any time. The Philadelphia Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) enrolls and trains volunteers before an emergency happens, so that they can help as soon as possible. 

The Philadelphia MRC currently has over 7,000 members who are ready to respond when needed. The Department of Public Health provides a variety of trainings, exercises, and real deployment opportunities throughout the year to build volunteers’ skills and keep them actively engaged with the unit. 

Volunteers provide a variety of services during a response, depending on their individual licensing and credentials. As a volunteer, you may: 

  • Conduct medical screenings, dispense medications, or administer vaccines. 
  • Provide medical assessments and care at evacuation shelters for displaced persons. 
  • Provide clinical and/or non-clinical support to the Philadelphia Fire Department (Emergency Medical Services) at large special events, such as races or concerts. 
  • Provide administrative support, such as answering phones in a call center or doing data entry. 
  • Assist with neighborhood canvassing to support preparedness and response activities. 


Anyone 18 years of age or older may apply online to join the Philadelphia MRC. Once the application is approved, volunteers will be contacted about training, exercise, and deployment opportunities.

  • Licensed, certified, or retired health professionals, including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, pharmacists, behavioral health providers, EMTs, paramedics, dentists, veterinarians, and respiratory care therapists. 
  • Medical, nursing, pharmacy, public health, and other allied health professional students. 
  • Non-medical personnel, such as interpreters, chaplains, and administrative professionals. 

Students studying to become health care professionals can offer support to the Philadelphia MRC while gaining valuable skills and experience. If you would like more information about student group volunteer opportunities, email 

Volunteers will be assigned to roles that best fit their skills, credentials, and experience.


In order to enroll in the Philadelphia MRC and maintain an active status, volunteers need to:

  • Provide and maintain updated contact information in our volunteer registry.
  • Undergo a criminal background check.
  • Live in Philadelphia.

You do not need a medical license to volunteer; however, to serve as a medical volunteer, you do need to maintain an unencumbered and active medical license.


Joining the Philadelphia MRC is easy.

Register online with the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania (SERVPA) by completing a SERVPA Application.

The application is available on the state’s SERVPA website. Under Add Organization, choose Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Organizations. Then check the box for Philadelphia MRC. You will enter your contact information, as well as some details about your occupation and background.

Every potential volunteer must ensure the following required identity information is included in their SERVPA profile:

  • First name (as listed on your birth certificate and/or government ID). Nicknames are not permitted.
  • Last name (as listed on your birth certificate and/or government ID). Nicknames are not permitted.
  • Date of birth.
  • Occupation.

The application will run a PA Justice Network Check, which verifies your identity and checks your Pennsylvania Justice Department record. Within a few days or weeks, you will receive an email about your acceptance into the Philadelphia MRC.

Attend a New Volunteer Orientation.

All Philadelphia MRC volunteers are strongly encouraged to attend at least one New Volunteer Orientation Training or view the virtual New Volunteer Orientation Training before they deploy. These trainings are typically held 1-2 times per year either in-person or virtually. 

Stay in touch to volunteer.

You can learn about training, exercise, and deployment opportunities through SERVPA notifications once you are registered.