How to Get Involved...Volunteer
N.J. Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)
If you’re interested in volunteering to assist during a public health emergency, the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services invites you to participate in its statewide program. Offered in partnership with the state’s local health departments, the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps actively involves citizens in helping to respond to a natural disaster or a terrorism event. If you’re a doctor, nurse or pharmacist, or if you have other skills in medicine, public health, data entry, security, hospitality services or other support areas, the NJMRC needs you. Any licensed or certified health care professional, practicing or retired, who lives or works in New Jersey can apply for membership in an MRC chapter, as can other community volunteers who have an interest in the program.
Community Emergency Response Team (CERT)
Community Emergency Response Teams give critical support to first responders in emergencies (e.g., crimes, natural disasters and terrorist events), provide immediate assistance to victims, organize spontaneous volunteers at a disaster site, and collect disaster intelligence to support first responder efforts.
The CERT concept originated in 1985, when the Los Angeles Fire Department recognized the need for trained community members to help deal with the early stages of a disaster. The Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) got involved, expanded the CERT program nationally for all types of disasters, and developed a training program for use nationwide.
During his 2002 State of the Union address, President George Bush asked Americans to volunteer their services to help safeguard their country, and created the Citizen Corps Program to organize volunteer services. CERT is now part of that program.
CERT offers basic training in:
- First Aid
- Family Disaster Preparedness
- Disaster Fire Suppression
- Medical Operations
- CERT Operations
- Disaster Mental Health
- Basic Emergency Management
- Disaster Simulation — Skills Review
Occasionally, local and county health departments have opportunities for qualified college student interns and recent graduates to help with field work. Applications are welcomed for special projects and degree requirements. Please contact your local health department for more information.