MOUNT MORRIS — The Livingston County Department of Health received a Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Operational Readiness Award from the National Association of County and City Health Officials (NACCHO).

The goal of this award is to retain and recruit Livingston County MRC volunteers to meet the emergency preparedness and response needs in the community. This funding will build MRC capabilities, strengthen stakeholder awareness of MRC capabilities, and identify or sustain integration of the MRC into local, state, and/or regional emergency response plans.

“The benefits of enhancing our MRC program will increase Livingston County’s ability to respond to emergencies in Livingston County, which will improve the overall health of our community members and will enhance the ability for us to support our partners in times of need,” stated June Webster, MRC Coordinator of the Livingston County Department of Health.

The Livingston County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) allows residents to help the County prepare for and assist with disasters and other public health related events. Following many disasters, large numbers of people often come forward to help. Many of those well-meaning volunteers are turned away because without special training, or a management structure to guide them, their presence at an emergency scene can be unsafe for volunteers and for public health and safety personnel responding to the incident.

The Livingston County MRC, a program coordinated by the Livingston County Department of Health, is designed to leverage the good will and desire to help that many people display in the wake of a disaster. It offers both medical and non-medical volunteers a chance to be part of a network of people who are trained and ready to respond to various incidents in Livingston County.

The Livingston County MRC is part of a national program developed to help local communities organize for an emergency. Large-scale natural or man-made disasters have the potential to overwhelm a community. These emergencies are often too large for local government agencies to handle alone, and often require assistance from state and federal agencies - assistance which can be delayed in the first hours of a disaster.

Joining the program is quick and easy, and volunteers receive free training - including an on-line course developed in partnership with the Harvard's Center for Public Health Preparedness. Call the Department of Health at (585) 243-7299 for more information.