The first half of
2010 brought plenty of activity to our unit.
Our primary focus from
the New Year into February was the completion of an extended influenza
clinic season. A third of our members joined forces with our
response partners in the campaign to protect residents against
seasonal flu and the H1N1 virus. Read about our record-setting
flu response for details.
of hours to serve at clinics
across the region, protecting
area residents against influenza.
final clinic to be
supported by our MRC
shows members who are
tired but happy, ending
the longest flu clinic
season since our
unit's inception in 2004!
No sooner did we administer
the last flu shots when we had an emergency call-out. By
February 27, an overnight rainstorm caused a power failure that
left 1600 local households in the dark. Many of those affected
were elderly or had chronic health conditions. The lack of electricity
for more than a day, with no end in sight, posed a threat to their
safety. Westford Emergency Management notified Sandy Collins (the
town's Health Department Director, as well as our MRC Director)
of the possible need to set up a shelter by Friday night.
a call-out, and members were asked to reply with availability.
Within two hours, sufficient staffing was available to support
the opening of a shelter that evening. Other volunteers made themselves
available for service throughout the weekend. Meanwhile, power
was gradually being restored, and families that had been without
power were making other arrangements. When it became clear that
a shelter would not be necessary, those who had signed up to help
were promptly notified. Unit leaders offered sincere thanks to
members for placing themselves 'on standby' for shelter deployment
on short notice.
The launch of health
fair season and the first Town Meetings kept members
busy staffing our information booths. Many thanks to members who
provided health information and blood pressure screenings in Billerica,
Chelmsford, and Tewksbury, and those who stopped by our MRC display
at Westford's annual Town Meeting. These activities raised awareness
of the national program and our local unit's activities, while
supporting public health initiatives.
pause for a group picture at the end of
a health fair, during the spring of 2010.
wellness fair in a local high school encouraged students
to include blood pressure screenings as ways to monitor
2010 newsletter was dedicated to our unit's volunteers
as a special Member Appreciation Issue. Spring courses
included American Heart Association CPR/AED classes for the layperson
and for medical professionals, AHA First Aid, and our third Training
Day on June 19. Other opportunities are being scheduled for
the coming months. Remember to check this site periodically for
coming events, which
are posted throughout the year.
To represent you better,
your unit leaders attended the annual Integrated
Summit. The event was originally scheduled for Nashville,
TN from May 12 to 16. However, due to historic flooding, this
major forum was moved on short notice and held in a drier location
from June 1 to 6. Kudos to the national MRC staff and response
partners from the other Summit organizations, who simply transferred
the event (along with 2500 attendees!) to a new venue across the
country. The annual Summit draws disaster workers throughout the
U.S. to share experiences that are vital for providing effective
We look forward to
offering new opportunities, including staffing at upcoming community
events. Have a terrific summer, and keep in touch!