Medical Reserve Corps

About the Essex County Medical Reserve Corps (ECMRC)

The close of 2017 marked 15 years of the National medical Reserve Corps and 10 years of this local program. Learn more about the National Profile of the MRC in this 2017 Network Profile Report.

Essex County MRC is an initiative of  our Emergency Preparedness & Response Program.  It was established in 2007 and is one of nearly 1,000 MRC Units across the United States of America.

ECMRC is not typically deployed outside of Essex County, however may serve beyond Essex County if requested as a mutual aid resource.  Our volunteers are medical and non-medical.

Volunteers can expect quarterly Training, Drill and Activation opportunities.

How to Join

ECMRC volunteers must regularly use e-mail.

Here’s how to get started:

  1. Register with New York State Department of Health secure ServNY application using one of these methods:
    • If you have an existing NYSDOH Health Commerce System account Register in ServNY with a HCS Account 
    • If you don’t have a Health Commerce System Account then use an existing or create a new NY.GOV public account and Register in ServNY with NYgov Account
    • Signing up on ServNY simply tells us that you are open to the idea of volunteering and is only a portion of the application process.  It does not guarantee that you will be called upon, nor does it mean that you must participate in any activation opportunity.
  2. By completing this Application Packet 2018 any credentials you have will be validated immediately, prior to an emergency, so that you can be deployed quickly and efficiently.  Submit the application to the MRC Coordinator as instructed in the packet.
  3. The MRC Coordinator will review the MRC Application packet & get in touch with all applicants to let them know if they are accepted.

Training Plan

Our MRC follows the National Association of County & City Health Officials (NACCHO) Training Plan.  We provide training  in several ways – in-person, web-accessed, in-advance and just-in-time for any activation.

There are only 2 required trainings to maintain an active volunteer status:


2018 MRC Training Acknowledgement.101

IS-100.B Introduction to the Incident Command System, a FEMA Emergency Management Institute Course

The ECMRC Standard Operating Guidelines should be read & understood by all active volunteers.  Printed copies will be provided upon request.

Additional Remote Training

Across the nation many MRC volunteers have served in temporary shelters established due to natural disasters.  Being familiar with shelter operations is a highly recommended training.


MRC Training Acknowledgement.Shelters


Most drills are virtual – email or text messages regarding the ability of volunteers to respond given a mock scenario.  Drills allow the MRC Coordinator practice in sending alerts and scheduling volunteers and allow volunteers to practice receiving & replying to deployment requests.  There is also typically at least 1 opportunity per year for MRC volunteers to participate in a larger public health emergency response exercise.


MRC Volunteers are offered activation opportunities in:

  • health promotion;
  • drills and exercises; and
  • response to public health emergencies.



History of the Medical Reserve Corps.

Following the events of September 11, 2001, it became clear that there was a  need for coordinating the services of thousands of well-meaning volunteers who showed up at disaster scenes wanting to help. There was a need for a mechanism for checking credentials, assigning volunteers where they could do the most good, and pre-planning to ensure their safety. It was evident volunteers needed to be trained to work effectively as a team while interacting with other agencies at a scene.

The Office of the U. S. Surgeon General announced the formation of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program in 2002. The overall goal of the national initiative is to establish teams of local volunteer medical professionals and laypersons to contribute their skills and expertise during times of public health emergencies.