All Hands on Deck! NH Medical Reserve Corps Exercises

Dates: 2012-2013

State: New Hampshire

Client(s): NACCHO

Service: Training & Technical Assistance

Technical Expertise: Emergency Preparedness and Response

In New Hampshire, regional public health emergency plans frequently rely on volunteers, including Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) members, to staff public health response sites such as Points of Dispensing (PODs) and Alternate Care Sites (ACSs). However, exercises designed to test these plans typically include public health staff and first responders, with only limited involvement of MRC volunteers. Lack of volunteer involvement in these exercises means that responders are less aware of the contributions volunteers can make to a response, and that volunteers are less familiar with response plans they may help implement.

In collaboration with the NH Department of Health & Human Services and the 16 MRC units in NH, JSI planed and held four regional exercises for MRC volunteers during 2013 in order to test public health emergency plans and give volunteers "hands on" experience in staffing a site. JSI's role included planning and facilitating the exercises, as well as related logistics.