July 14, 2011

FEMA Awards $25,000 Grant to Local Medical Reserve Corp

Efforts to train a volunteer force to aid emergency service personnel in the time of a disaster got a big boost from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Administrator Margaret Curry announced on July 7th that the Scotland County Health Department would be a recipient of a $25,000 grant through FEMA and the Department of Homeland Security

The grant is a Citizens Corp Program and the funds will be used to enhance the Scotland Medical Reserve Corp.

The Medical Reserve Corp (MRC) is a group of citizens that meets on a monthly basis for training and preparing for possible public health emergencies.

Curry said the funds will be used to purchase HAM radio equipment to use in the event of a disaster when no other means of communication are available.

Along with the radio equipment, items will be purchased for volunteers to create "go kits" for rapid response. These kits have medical supplies, so if deployed, the volunteer has supplies available to use if needed.

The money will also be used for an enhanced media campaign to recruit more volunteers willing to join the MRC and help in times of emergency.

"You don't have to have a medical background to volunteer," Curry stressed. "During a true disaster volunteers are needed for other things besides medical needs."

The health department will also use a portion of the grant funds to pay for training and planning exercises, identifying clothing, computer equipment and personnel time.

Curry invites anyone interested in joining the Scotland County MRC to attend their monthly meeting at the Scotland County Fitness Center on the 4th Thursday of the month at 7 p.m. Or for more information contact Margaret Curry at the health department 465-7275.

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