Many thanks to our
members who were so active with our busy unit throughout the second
half of the year.
news: Our unit reached two major milestones
September marked ten years since our unit was awarded one
of the first national demonstration grants that authorized us
to operate as a new MRC unit! Look how far we've come over the
We are also proud to announce that we have recently attained 501-C3
status as a volunteer organization.
Click on a topic in
the following table, or read the summaries below, for details
about our news and activities.
AND FIRST AID One of our first activities in
July 2013 was to prepare for CPR classes. Instructors from our
unit were invited to teach Heartsaver CPR/AED to groups
of municipal employees in our host agent's community. The next
month, we offered the same training to our own members. Each class
resulted in two-year certification in CPR and AED from the American
Heart Association. Click here
For the first time,
our MRC was also invited to teach a non-certification module on
First Aid to two groups of Teacher Assistants in the Westford
School system. Given our mutual concern for the health of students
and their families, everyone benefits from this type of partnership.
for medical emergencies in schools include knowing the location
of AEDs and how to use them, protocols for contacing the
school nurse and calling 9-1-1, and having access to an
appropriate first aid kit.
AND COMMUNITY SERVICE
This season our volunteers supported numerous regional
events, which were attended by more than thirty thousand
area residents. See our members in action at a wide variety of
events by clicking this
web page. Be sure to ask any interested friends
if they could see themselves helping at these types of activities
over the coming year!
Two events focused on our dedicated volunteers. Our Member Appreciation
Dinner acknowledged September as national Preparedness Month,
by thanking those who had been active in the unit over the past
year. The festivities honored our host for the upcoming Training
Day, and two members who shared what they had learned when serving
in recent disasters that occurred outside of our region.
of the attendees remained for a group photo as festivities
the cake, members!
The guest list included
not only those who had served at an event or deployment,
but also those who had placed themselves on standby for
a disaster. Even if a call-out does not occur, it is still important
to recognize those who make themselves available in case a deployment
request is activated. Click here
for additional photos from the event.
There were two opportunities
to welcome new members into the unit. While most of the attendees
at New Member Orientations in August and December had just joined,
a few had been on our roster for a while and hadn't yet completed
their official orientation. This event provided all participants
with the information and ID required to become fully deployable
in the unit.
group in August, and another in December, attended New Member
Orientations to learn about UMV MRC protocols, receive their
ID badges and polo shirts, and get better acquainted with
If you know anyone
who may be interested in joining the MRC, or who would simply
like to learn more about our unit and consider a partnership,
please encourage them to contact us!
(Westford, MA 01886)
55 Main Street
23 Depot Street
SHELTER EDUCATION We are carrying out a $7000
grant that was awarded by NACCHO (National Association of County
and City Health Officials) to train deployment teams for sheltering,
and to educate area residents on preparedness. See the separate
article on our progress. We urge all interested
members to participate in this initiative!
One of our signature events is to support annual flu and pneumonia
clinics, when invited to do so from public health departments
across the region. Click here
for a recap of our involvement at several clinics across the Upper
Merrimack Valley throughout last autumn.
STATUS We are pleased to announce that our unit
has officially joined the National Medical Reserve Corps Association.
A primary benefit is that we can now accept contributions as a
501-C3 organization. This means most corporations can donate toward
our initiatives, and even match the contributions of their employees.
There are also benefits for individual MRC members. See the Latest
News item on how to contribute.
ADVISORIES Massachusetts is subject to extreme
temperature changes on short notice. A prime example happened
on New Year's Day 2014. Our response partners monitored a pending
storm and an 'arctic vortex' over the following week, both of
which put vulnerable residents at risk. The next week, there
was even an earthquake in the New Bedford area, measuring 1.9
on the Richter Scale!
weather emergencies can be unpredictable. It is in everyone's
best interest to take precautions. Visit the following resources
to become better prepared throughout the season.
ACTIVITIES AND UNIT NEWS The UMV MRC staff
created a new Volunteer Handbook, which was distributed
to members at both New Member Orientations last fall. Our plan
is to gather feedback and make revisions as needed. Our non-competitive
grant allocates funding to print copies of the final document
for our members. Please contact the staff if you'd like a copy
October 2013 Newsletter celebrated the tenth year of
our existence as an MRC unit. In addition to providing a recap
of activities over the past year, the newsletter included sign-up
forms to register for the next Training Day. Click
here to see the newsletter and share our progress with others.
UMV MRC Director has continued to integrate the unit
into opportunities that she encounters, through her roles as
Director of Health Care Services for the Town of Westford, involvement
on the UMV Public Health Coalition, and numerous professional
organizations such as the MA MRC Steering Committee.
managing daily operations and events, the UMV MRC Coordinator
follows up on opportunities to draw in new members, encourage
existing volunteers, and offer new versions of training and
staff members participate in quarterly MA MRC meetings,
share ideas for the region with the UMV MRC Advisory Council,
and collaborate on writing grants. Changes in government policies
and funding brought an end to the annual MRC Summits. However,
the national office has found creative ways of keeping unit
leaders engaged. Thus your staff participates in monthly MRC
Wellness Check webinars, keeps up with national MRC communications,
and stays in regular contact with counterparts in MA and across
Rep James Arciero with UMV MRC Staff at a recent event.
MRC leaders across MA started the New Year with uplifting messages
from our state coordinator and the new MDPH Commissioner, applauding
the fine work of units across the state. Read
a subset here.
accept our best wishes for 2014. Stay healthy!