Medical Reserve Corps
The Greater Westfield & Western Hampden County Medical Reserve Corps, Inc. (GW&WHC MRC Inc.) offers a corps of personnel who are trained to provide high quality pre-hospital care and reliable communications during crises, as well as health promotion education that will enhance the public health preparedness and ability to respond to natural or man-made emergencies in a community/regional manner.
The Greater Westfield & Western Hampden County MRC is 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.
- It is run by a board of directors that includes, but is not limited to the following: President, Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer
- It is registered on the Massachusetts Health and Homeland Alert Network (HANN)
- It is a member of the Westfield Emergency Management Agency (WEMA), Westfield LEPC, Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency (MEMA), Region III & IV
- It is registered as part of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Citizens Corps Program (CCP)
The Greater Westfield & Western Hampden County Medical Reserve Corps, Inc. is dedicated to educating people who can make a difference in the lives of the residents living in a local community, be it large or small. This Educational portion imparts knowledge, develops skills and fosters attitudes that will help re-establish the belief that neighbors helping neighbors makes a strong self reliant community that can survive anything by pulling together in times of natural or man made disasters or public health emergencies. The mission of the Medical Reserve Corps in Western Massachusetts is to improve the health and safety of communities and their residents by organizing and utilizing public health, medical, safety, and non-medical volunteers. The Medical Reserve Corps continues to build the capacity of each community to better respond to local, county, and regional natural or man-made disasters or public health emergencies.
- To facilitate the dispersal of timely and informative knowledge promoting disease prevention.
- To help eliminate health disparities
- To Improve the level of knowledge and emergency response capabilities for the general public in our communities and regional areas.
- Develop a communications network in Western Massachusetts that will be able to respond to all emergencies regardless of weather conditions, or availability of electrical power.
- Provide a Field Kitchen capable of stand alone food preparation that can be brought to any location in support of MRC Volunteers and victims during times of man made or natural disaster or special events attended by MRC Units in New England.
- Set-up and run shelter operations
Greater Westfield C.E.R.T (Community Emergency Response Team)
The Greater Westfield C.E.R.T. is partnered with GWHCMRC.
The Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) Program educates people about disaster preparedness for hazards that may impact their area and trains them in basic disaster response skills, such as fire safety, light search and rescue, team organization, and disaster medical operations. Using the training learned in the classroom and during exercises, CERT members can assist others in their neighborhood or workplace following an event when professional responders are not immediately available to help. CERT members also are encouraged to support emergency response agencies by taking a more active role in emergency preparedness projects in their community.
For more info: http://www.citizencorps.gov/cert/
Disaster Animal Response Team (DART)
DART was created to support Hampden County's response to the Federal Pets Act of 2006, which requires states to plan for the evacuation of pets (animals as well as people) during disasters – in order to qualify for FEMA reimbursement.
In the event of a declared emergency, DART may provide for rescue, triage, temporary sheltering and/or transport of animals to veterinary clinics or alternate boarding facilities, DART strictly adheres to the Incident Command System as put for by FEMA.
Our vision is to provide an organized response to animals in disaster. To that extent, we are constantly training and working to coordinate resources both locally (town) and countywide.
DART is comprised solely of volunteers. These dedicated people come from all walks of life united in a common love of and concern for animals. Each volunteer must complete an application, criminal background check (CORI), and additional paperwork. FEMA courses such as IS-100 and IS-700 are also basic training requirements.
Additional training with DART includes a seven module training series that provides more insight to emergency response and deployment. Module topics include Registration, Dog and Cat Handling, Team Development, Radio Communications, Disaster Response, Shelter Design, and Shelter Health Awareness. Participation in mock drills helps to complete a level of competency and prepare volunteers for the reality of a true disaster. Advance coursework in Pet First Aid, the Incident Command System, Animal rescue, and related courses are offered and participation is encouraged.
Services provided by DART include, but are not limited to:
▪Organization of temporary animal shelters for response and recovery
▪Recruitment and training of volunteers to provide animal care in shelters
▪Triage of emergency animal care
▪Maintenance of animal identification and care records Reunion of animals with their owners.