Columbia works to improve crisis volunteer program

1 year 4 months 2 weeks 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

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
CAMDEN COUNTY - One man was airlifted to the hospital Friday after his vehicle overturned. According to the Missouri... More >>
11 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 9:22:34 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) - Authorities are investigating after tools and equipment were stolen from a Kansas City woodworking shop where... More >>
11 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 8:54:00 PM CST in News
KIRKSVILLE - The Kirksville Arts Center broke out in flames Friday evening. According to an email from the Kirksville... More >>
12 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 7:42:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - A film about the life of a Missouri artist and politician was shown for free on Saturday. ... More >>
14 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 6:09:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Stephen Webber has been elected as the new Chair of the Missouri Democratic Party on Saturday. ... More >>
16 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - People came to celebrate Kwanzaa early this year at the Progressive Missionary Baptist on Saturday. The African-American... More >>
16 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:05:00 PM CST in News
SPRINGFIELD (AP) — A Missouri woman faces 12 years in federal prison for leading a fraud scheme. The U.S.... More >>
16 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:29:38 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA – Over 40 local authors showed off their work and networked with other writers at the Local Authors Open... More >>
17 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 2:55:00 PM CST in News
COLUMBIA - Around 10 a.m. Saturday, a man driving his car northbound near Highway 63 and Stadium flipped over. No... More >>
20 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 11:38:33 AM CST in Top Stories
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers have struggled to find a way to pay for repairs along thousands of miles... More >>
21 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:59:00 AM CST in News
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Missouri is seeing a startling decline in methamphetamine lab seizures, but it isn't because users are... More >>
21 hours ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 10:50:00 AM CST in News
COLUMBIA - The Women's Symphony League kicked off the annual Holiday Home Tour, which is its biggest fundraiser of the... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 4:12:00 AM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY- The Jefferson City Fire Department responded to reports of smoke coming from a building in the 200 block... More >>
1 day ago December 03, 2016 Dec 3, 2016 Saturday, December 03 2016 Saturday, December 03, 2016 3:57:00 AM CST in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - Following the election of Donald Trump, some students gathered for what they called a "positivity event". KOMU sent... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 7:05:00 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Missouri lawmakers are proposing bills that would make attacking a law enforcement officer a hate crime.... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:51:13 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY (AP) — Lawmakers are proposing bills that would make Missouri a right-to-work state. The Springfield News-Leader... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:46:41 PM CST in News
KANSAS CITY (AP) — A former Kansas City, Missouri, man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for his... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 4:23:47 PM CST in News
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Nixon and his wife Georganne kicked off the holiday season in the state's capital with Friday's... More >>
1 day ago December 02, 2016 Dec 2, 2016 Friday, December 02 2016 Friday, December 02, 2016 3:36:00 PM CST in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 37°
9am 36°
10am 36°
11am 37°
12pm 40°

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
Football Night in America
7:20p
Sunday Night Football
6:00p
Labyrinth
8:00p
Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.
9:00p
KOMU 8 News @ Nine on The CW
9:30p
Seinfeld