One of the primary benefits of membership in the Upper Merrimack Valley MRC is easy access to training and skill development. Even without deployment, members can be proud of keeping their medical abilities sharp, current, and ready to use!

The first training requirement is to complete a New Member Orientation. Usually this training is provided in a group class, taught by UMV MRC leaders. Another option is to stop in for about an hour during a ‘Drop-In Day,’ designed to accommodate those with unpredictable schedules.

The next request is for our volunteers to take courses on incident command at their earliest convenience. Not only does this training provide instruction on the fundamentals of disaster response, it also ensures that our unit remains ‘NIMS Compliant’ as an organization. The most convenient way for most members to complete this training is through online courses:

1IS-100 Overview of the Incident Command System (ICS-100)
2IS-700 National Incident Command System (NIMS-700)

Hint: We strongly encourage students to print the final exam and fill out their answers on the hardcopy, BEFORE returning to the system and completing the exam online. The demand for these courses is such that users need to avoid long pauses in mulling over answers, which can cause the system to ‘time-out’ and end the exam prematurely.

When members complete these classes, we ask them to e-mail the link to the Coordinator so we can print and file their completion certificate, and update their records with this valuable credential. A side benefit: While these courses are appropriate for both medical and non-medical volunteers, certification also results in up to three continuing-education credits for nurses, EMTs, and other health professionals. Some members also realize career benefits for attaining these certifications!

Knowing that not all members are comfortable with the use of computers, we also try to make ICS and NIMS training available in classroom format when possible.

The unit has made both self-paced and classroom training opportunities available every year since its inception in 2004, and will continue to do so. Members are notified whenever new classes are offered — through printed mailings and newsletters, and by web postings under ‘Latest News.’


Training provided by the UMV MRC over the years has included
these topics, many of which we expect to offer again, as warranted
by member needs and interest.

American Heart Association courses:
Heartsaver CPR/AED
First Aid
CPR/AED for HealthCare Professionals

Topics covered in Training Days to date:
Behavioral Health I and II (MDPH certified course)
Chemical and Biological Hazards
Culturally Appropriate Care in Disasters
Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Individuals
Disaster Mental Health
Hands-on Nursing Skills
Infectious Disease: What’s it all about?
Intro to the Incident Command System (ICS-100)
Intro to the National Incident Management System (NIMS-700)
MA MRCs in Tornado Deployment
Mass-Casualty Incidents
Psychological First Aid
Sheltering Animals in a Disaster
The People You Will Care For
Triage, SMART Tags, and MCIs
Toxic Chemical Emergencies
Vulnerable Populations in Shelters
Weapons of Mass Destruction (WMDs)

Courses offered separately:
72-hour kits/disaster preparedness education
Bloodborne Pathogens
Critical Incident Stress Management
Emergency Dispensing Sites
Red Cross Sheltering Series
Smallpox Inoculation (hands-on practice)
Shelter Workshops through MA Medical Society