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Creek County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

During a large-scale emergency or disaster, the Creek County Health Department and the Creek County Chapter of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps will coordinate with other agencies to maximize community recovery efforts. Public health relies on a variety of professional experience to establish a prepared local community, enhance services and enrich the quality of life in Creek County. Equipped and trained volunteers are critical in establishing a prepared local response.

Creek County Health Department is sponsoring the establishment of the Creek County Chapter of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps to deploy when disaster impacts our own communities. The Medical Reserve corps (MRC) is a group of volunteers prescreened and trained to augment Public Health staff during an emergency in Creek County. When every minute counts, the Creek County Chapter of the Medical Reserve corps will play a major role with:

  • Dispensing medications and vaccinations
  • Conducting health assessments
  • Disease surveillance

Members of the Creek County Chapter of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps volunteers will have the option of deploying across the state of Oklahoma and for national deployments if the volunteer so chooses.

Right now, the Medical Reserve corps is in need of the following specializations:

  • Pharmacists and Pharmacy technicians
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Support volunteers

Frequently asked questions

What will I be doing as a volunteer?

Volunteer roles will vary, depending on the emergency and what staffing needs exist. Medical volunteer roles may include:

  • Dispensing antibiotics
  • Injecting vaccines
  • Reviewing health histories

Support volunteers play an integral role in emergency scenarios and interacting with the public. Support volunteer roles may include:

  • Assisting people with paperwork
  • Greeting and directing people through a medication center
  • Providing information about a disease or condition to people
  • Managing the flow of people through a medication center
  • Providing interpretation services

Who can become a medical volunteer?

Qualified medical volunteers include the following professionals licensed in the state of Oklahoma:

  • Pharmacists and pharmacy technicians
  • Advanced registered nurse practitioners
  • Registered Nurses
  • Licensed Practical Nurses
  • Physicians
  • Learn how to apply

Who can become a support volunteer?

Anyone who is 16 years old or older, works well in stressful situations, has good customer service skills, and works well in a team.

What type of emergencies would I be responding to?

The Creek County Chapter of the Medical Reserve corps serves response activities by Creek County Health Department in an emergency. Currently, volunteers in the program will be focused on specific Public Health response functions.

One example of a local Public Health emergency response is the health care services given to the 3000 evacuees we received after Hurricane Katrina hit the gulf coast in 2005. Preparing for the arrival of thousands of displaced evacuees from the storm, some in poor health, Public Health and emergency response partners quickly and effectively set up two reception sites. Volunteer physicians, nurse practitioners, and registered nurses were recruited through the MRC to supplement the Health Department staff providing much need screening assistance.

Another example of a type of emergency in which the Medical Reserve corps may assist is when rapid immunizations are needed for a large number of people in the community, such as for a widespread Hepatitis A exposure.

The Medical Reserve corps may also assist during a Bioterrorism event, specifically an anthrax exposure. Public Health would be responsible for dispensing antibiotics within 72 hours of exposure and would need volunteers to help dispense antibiotics from designated medication centers to exposed residents.

What happens if I’m needed by my employer during an emergency?

First and foremost, the Creek County Health Department and the MRC understands that your first commitment is to your employer. In a large emergency in which our local health care system is impacted, your responsibilities are with your employer.

However, many type of events in which the Medical Reserve corps would assist will be of a smaller scale and may not have a significant impact on the larger health care system. In many instances, early response to these types of emergencies by Public Health will help the larger health care system from being overwhelmed.

Can medical, nursing, or public health students volunteer?

Students are encouraged to apply as a support volunteer. If students have an active professional license, they can apply as a medical volunteer.

Can medical residents and interns be a medical volunteer?

Yes. Medical residents and interns will work under the supervision of the Creek County Health Department’s Medical Director, Dr. Zumwalt.

Can retired medical professionals volunteer?

Yes. Retired medical professionals are valuable assets and are encouraged to apply. If they do not have an active professional license, they can apply as a support volunteer. If they have an active professional license, they can apply as a medical volunteer.

How much time is required to volunteer?

Volunteers devote 12 hours per year in the Medical Reserve corps for orientation, drills and training. Professional continuing education credits will be offered whenever possible during these 12 hours. Time spent volunteering during an emergency will vary depending on the scenario and volunteer availability.

What type of training do volunteers receive?

Volunteers receive training appropriate to their roles in an emergency. Topics include Incident Command Structure, Medication/Vaccination Center system, as well as role specific trainings like, for example, dispensing antibiotics for anthrax or using communication radios. Additionally, volunteers may choose to participate in exercises such as Creek County Health Department Mass Immunization and Prophylaxis Exercise and mass flu vaccination clinics.

Professional continuing education credits are offered whenever possible.

What type of liability protection is provided to volunteers?

Civil Liability Coverage

Volunteer Medical Professionals Services Act

O.S.  32, part G

“Any person participating in a Medical Reserve corps and assisting with emergency management, emergency operations, or hazard mitigation in response to any emergency, man-made disaster, or natural disaster, or participating in public health initiatives endorsed by a city, county or state health department in the State of Oklahoma, shall not be liable for civil damages on the basis of any act or omission, if:

•The person was acting in good faith and within the scope of the official duties and functions of the Medical Reserve corps; and

•The acts or omissions were not caused from gross, willful, or wanton acts of negligence.

Workers Compensation

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps is a volunteer organization. Volunteers are not covered under workers’ compensation benefits or employee health insurance benefits. Volunteers are not provided insurance that could otherwise be expected to compensate or reimburse them for injuries and related medical expenses that may occur as a result of their services, including but not limited to injuries that might occur in a workplace, field of deployment or in motor vehicle accidents while performing services or duties as a volunteer.

Prior to starting an assignment, volunteers will be provided with an acknowledgement form and must indicate understanding and acceptance of this policy.

Are Medical Reserve corps volunteers paid?

Volunteer time is unpaid from Creek County Health Department and the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps.

What other Medical Reserve Corps Units are in the State of Oklahoma?

The Creek County Chapter Oklahoma Homeland Security Region 4 MRC of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps is just one of the eight chapters of the Oklahoma Medical Reserve corps program in the State of Oklahoma. For additional information on MRC Locations in Oklahoma

For further information on volunteering with the Creek County branch of the Medical Reserve corps

Kristie Harris
Public Information Officer/Volunteer Coordinator
Creek County Health Department
Phone: (918) 224-5531

All information is general in nature and is not intended to be used as a substitute for appropriate professional advice. For more information please call (918) 224-5531. Mailing address: ATTN: Emergency Preparedness, Creek County Healthcare Coalition, 1808 S. Hickory, Sapulpa, OK 74066 or click here to e-mail us. Because of confidentiality concerns, questions regarding client health issues cannot be responded to by e-mail. 

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