Columbia works to improve crisis volunteer program

1 year 6 months 3 days ago July 20, 2015 Jul 20, 2015 Monday, July 20 2015 Monday, July 20, 2015 2:13:00 PM CDT in News
By: Landon Burke, KOMU 8 Reporter
Embed Code Copied

COLUMBIA - The Columbia City Council will discuss renewing an agreement with an online service that lets people sign up to help the community in the event of a crisis at its meeting Monday night.

The Medical Reserve Corps is a group of community members who volunteered to assist the Health Department in the event of a city or state emergency. Since 2012, the Health Department has used "Show-me Response," an online service that keeps track of the volunteers. Rebecca Estes, the Senior Planner for the Health Department, is responsible for maintaining that list.

"Their main objective is to support the department of health and human services if there was a public health emergency, such as an outbreak, or an event that required a strain on the health care system," Estes said.

Though many of the volunteers have a background in medical work, Estes said volunteers do not need medical expertise to make a difference.

"I think when people hear ‘Medical Reserve Corps' they think, ‘I'm gonna be providing surgery in the middle of a catastrophe,' and that's not the case at all," Estes said. "We really want to leave that to the professionals in the field and the first responders. Our intent is to support them. So that they have the ability to do their job."

She said the Medical Reserve Corps volunteers can have a variety of responsibilities besides medical care.

"They could be trained to do anything from help answer phones on a call line, or direct traffic if we're doing a drive-through medicine dispensing," Estes said. "Or they could even be helping people fill out forms when they come in."

Estes said though Columbia has not had a "crisis" scenario recently, volunteers still help the Health Department whenever it needs additional manpower.

"Last fall we had a Flu clinic that the department hosted on a Saturday," Estes said. "This wasn't a crisis event, but Medical Reserve Corps volunteers were invited to come and assist because it's very similar to what they would do if it was an emergency. We've not yet reached an emergency crisis event for them, but we have used them for when we need additional staff to help out.'"

She also said it is important to organize people before a crisis happens.

"People need to know to not just go out into the street, but to come to a consolidated location, to be given a volunteer assignment and responsibility, and to even have some training ahead of time," Estes said. "It can help the response be quicker, and ideally make the recovery a little more fluent."

The Health Department is working to develop and improve the Medical Reserve Corps program.

"Currently in our system there's 238 individuals that expressed interest to work for the Columbia/Boone County Medical Reserve Corps," Estes said. "But that number fluctuates a lot. Currently we're going through a process where we're going to re-define what it means to be a member, and we might see that number changing."

The department encourages anyone interested in becoming a volunteer to express their interest sooner rather than later.

"Let us know ahead of time," Estes said. "That way we can ensure that they have the proper skills and training and make sure that whatever position they might get assigned matches their interest," Estes said. "We find that volunteers are happier if they are doing something that they are interested in."

For more information about the Medical Reserve Corps, visit its website.

More News

Grid
List
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Thousands of protesters, mostly women, gathered in Missouri's two biggest cities and Kansas' capital city in... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:44:00 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A central Missouri technical college plans to ask the U.S. Supreme Court to reinstate the school's... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:37:52 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is making a school choice measure called education savings accounts a priority... More >>
12 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 7:32:26 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — The Mid-Missouri Solidarity March was organized by area organization to support the Women’s March on Washington, D.C. on... More >>
14 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 6:00:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Counselors helped Columbia residents sign up for health care insurance Saturday, amid rising concern over the repeal of... More >>
15 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 5:02:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — Stephens College hosted its first "Fallopian Fest" Saturday. Stephens College student and one of the directors of... More >>
16 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 3:54:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — "The Mindfulness-Based Eating Solution" author, Dr. Lynn Rossy, spoke at the Boone County Historical Museum Saturday. The... More >>
20 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:51:00 AM CST in News
BOONVILLE — Several Missouri National Guard Specialists are preparing to leave for their final segment of training before departing for... More >>
20 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:39:00 AM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — Prosecutors have charged a man in connection with a shooting death last summer in Kansas City,... More >>
21 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:19:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Police and court records said a man accused of fatally shooting a St. Louis apartment complex's... More >>
21 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:16:04 AM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A southwestern Missouri woman faces up to 23 years in federal prison after admitting in court that... More >>
21 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 11:10:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A man has been ordered to spend two decades in prison after admitting in court that... More >>
21 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:31:15 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — A St. Louis 18-year-old has been jailed on $250,000 bond after being accused of wounding her... More >>
22 hours ago January 21, 2017 Jan 21, 2017 Saturday, January 21 2017 Saturday, January 21, 2017 10:13:19 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Missouri is the only state without a prescription drug-monitoring program in place, but officials in Columbia are hoping... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 6:34:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — At their Jan. 10 Court en Banc meeting, the judges of the 13th Judicial Circuit elected their new... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 5:39:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA — A Columbia man has pled guilty Friday to three counts of sexual exploitation of a minor, one count... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 4:43:00 PM CST in Top Stories
FRANKLIN COUNTY (AP) — Franklin County Sheriff's Office charged a man Friday after Authorities say he killed his ex-girlfriend in... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:55:00 PM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA — All across the country televisions were set to the presidential inauguration to see Donald Trump take office. Craig... More >>
1 day ago January 20, 2017 Jan 20, 2017 Friday, January 20 2017 Friday, January 20, 2017 3:20:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 45°
9am 45°
10am 45°
11am 46°
12pm 48°

Select a station to view its upcoming schedule:

Coming Up Next

8:00a
Sunday TODAY with Willie Geist
9:00a
Meet the Press
10:00a
Give
7:30a
In Touch with Dr. Charles Stanley
8:30a
The Key of David
9:00a
Campmeeting

Tonight's Schedule

6:00p
Dateline NBC
7:30p
Ted
6:00p
Beverly Hills Ninja
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld