In May of 2006 the Maynard Board of Health called together an informational meeting seeking volunteers to become part of the Town’s emergency preparedness efforts and establish a volunteer reserve corps. Resulting in approximately 70 people responding. The skills and backgrounds of these citizens included medical, counseling, security and data entry. Maynard’s Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was then created to assist Town officials to prepare for and respond to a natural or man made emergency such as influenza pandemic, bioterrorist event or hazardous weather conditions.
Maynard is one of 34 communities who share plans and resources for public health emergency response within Public Health Emergency Preparedness Region 4A. Education of all citizens and an organized response plan are key to a communities ability to respond to the unknown.
Volunteers with non medical backgrounds are also sorely needed. In an effort to recruit a broader spectrum of volunteers, Maynard chose to rename our committee Maynard Citizen Corps (MCC) / Medical Reserve Corps (MRC). At the Town Meeting in October of 2007 this committee became an official Town Committee. An Executive Board of volunteers is appointed each year. Our current members include nurses, teachers, counselor and communication specialist. All MRC/MCC volunteers must pass a CORI check and receive training in the Incident Command System.
It was decided that a Neighborhood Captain model would best meet the needs of our community to educate and prepare Maynard citizens for response to an emergency. Neighborhood Captains get to know their neighborhood, identify high risk residents, and serve as a communication link with Town Officials.
MCC/MRC has undertaken several methods to educate our community. Programs on constructing a 72-hour kit and on pet emergency preparedness have been offered. The MCC/MRC Newsletter is published quarterly (4 times a year). They provide educational material on family preparedness and information on current issues like power outage and H1N1 flu. They also serve as a communication tool regarding MCC/MRC activities both upcoming and current. Neighborhood Captain (NC) Brochures have been developed to serve as an introduction for a NC as well as a recruitment tool.
In 2007 and 2008 we conducted a successful seasonal flu clinic, which served as a disaster preparedness drill. In an effort to promote MCC/MRC as a resource to our citizens, we have participated in numerous town events. These include the Christmas Parade, MaynardFest, Town Meetings, Farmers Market, Library sponsored volunteer night, Relay for Life and Road Race. Educational materials have been provided to many people at these events which are also recruitment opportunities. The Action Unlimited and Beacon Villager have published notices about upcoming events and our requests for volunteers.
As we move forward this year, recruitment and education are our top priorities. We hope to offer some training programs for volunteers with a particular focus on shelter management. We will expand the distribution of our Newsletter, expand our recruitment efforts and revise our pet preparedness brochure.
If you are interested in volunteering or would like additional information please contact us!