The MRC program was created after President Bush’s 2002 State of the Union Address, in which he asked all Americans to volunteer in support of their country. The MRC is comprised of organized medical and public health professionals who serve as volunteers to respond to natural disasters and emergencies. These volunteers assist communities nationwide during emergencies and for ongoing efforts in public health.
The need for trained supplemental medical and public health personnel to assist with emergency operations was highlighted after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Many medical and public health professionals sought to support emergency relief efforts, but there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. The MRC program provides the structure necessary to deploy medical and public health personnel in response to an emergency, as it identifies specific, trained, credentialed personnel available and ready to respond to emergencies.
The Southwest Utah Medical Reserve Corps (SWUMRC) is housed under the Southwest Utah Public Health Department and serves Washington, Iron, Kane, Garfield, and Beaver counties of Utah. The purpose of the SWUMRC is to utilize the many different abilities that members of our communities have and allow local healthcare professionals and community support volunteers to contribute their skills and expertise throughout the year, as well as during times of community need.
The SWUMRC unit is made up of over 450 active and retired volunteers who can assist our community during an emergency such as an earthquake, an influenza epidemic or an act of terrorism. The SWUMRC also works to support public health and other existing programs to improve the health and safety of communities. Through credentialing and training, volunteers are prepared in advance to respond to a variety of emergencies. The SWUMRC works diligently to strengthen everyday public health infrastructure in order to improve preparedness and response.