Once you have gone through the application process, the NENC MRC staff will work with you to complete the required trainings. As a volunteer, you will be thoroughly trained to respond in emergency situations through training and exercises
Training requirements include orientation to the MRC and NENC MRC, basic first aid and CPR, courses on the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and the Incident Command System (ICS), and other disaster preparedness and response training.
Thanks to our local partners at the American Red Cross (ARC), one benefit to the NENC MRC Volunteer Responder is the availability of ARC CPR/first aid courses.
Some of the trainings, such as the NIMS/ICS courses, are available through the Internet. Other trainings, such as the NENC MRC orientation, are in person only.
Specific information about the training requirements and timeline is available in the Volunteer Responder Manual. As discussed in the Manual, the training does not have to be completed immediately and could be spread out over several months, or completed as quickly as the Volunteer Responder’s time permits.
However, Volunteer Responders will not be eligible for deployments until all required trainings are complete.
Our training mission is to have members who are pre-credentialed, pre-trained and exercised in basic disaster response skills, so they can be as prepared as possible to respond when an event occurs. However, it would be impossible for volunteers to learn everything there is to know, or to be prepared for every situation. Therefore, in most emergency response deployments, Volunteer Responders will receive Just-In-Time (JIT) training.
Just-In-Time (JIT) training refers to a process in which the person receives training "just-in-time" when it is needed for a particular purpose. Some MRCs have developed subsets of JIT training for various common tasks. There is usually some form of 'job action sheet' or assigned skills available, to provide some brief training at the site of a deployment.
The links below will assist NENC MRC Volunteer Responders in completing required training courses, and offer additional courses that you may be interested in. Once you have completed a course, please email, fax, or mail your certificate to the NENC MRC staff.
NENC MRC training required courses include Introduction to Incident Command System (ICS 100) and National Incident Management System (ICS 700). NIMS and ICS are systems used to help multiple agencies coordinate and respond to an emergency or large scale situation.
Exercises and drills prepare and train you to respond to potential scenarios in advance of emergencies. Exercises provide a way for Volunteer Responders to work with each other and with local emergency response agencies.
Just a few of the types of exercises include call down drills, “table top” (talking through scenarios), and “full scale” (hands on/walking through scenarios) exercises.
For example, a call down is a series of telephone calls from one person to the next used to relay specific information, similar to a phone tree. An established and exercised call down protocol can be used during emergency situations to deliver urgent information to and for communication among the NENC MRC staff and volunteers.
Spotlight on the SNS & MRC Volunteers
In times of emergency, such as an infectious disease outbreak (pandemic flu, H1N1), biochemical attack (anthrax), or other disasters, local capacities and supplies may be quickly depleted.
The federal government keeps on hand a “Strategic National Stockpile” (SNS) of medicines and other medical supplies to supplement and re-supply local health agencies in such emergencies.
MRC Volunteers can help supplement (also called “medical surge”) the overtaxed capacity of local health care workers through helping to distribute vaccinations, medicines, or other supplies to large numbers of community members in need (also called “mass dispensing”). Volunteers assist local public health and emergency response agencies at pre-arranged locations (“points of distribution” or PODs).
MRC Units across the country often conduct exercises to prepare for such events.