Collin County Medical Reserve Corps
ARES Training Net

Originally Presented May 10, 2009

This evening I will be discussing the role of amateur radio in the support of Collin County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC).  We will discuss; what is the Medical Reserve Corps, how amateur radio operators fit within the MRC, our current readiness status, and how you can participate.


My name is Anthony (Tony) Campbell, W5ADC, and I am the Assistant Emergency Coordinator (AEC) for the Medical Reserve Corps.  Within the reporting structure of the Collin County ARES, I report to the Emergency Coordinator.  Over the past five years, the amateur radio community has supported at least six different MRC events.  Many of you have already taken your time to successfully support these events and in every case we have meet or exceeded the requirements of the exercise.

What is the Medical Reserve Corps?

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was founded in 2002 as a specialized component of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. Other Citizen Corps components include CERT, Volunteers in Public Service (VIPS), Fire Corps and Neighborhood Watch.  I am sure that many of you are also involved in one or more of these organizations.

The mission of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical and other volunteers.

In Collin County, the MRC is a part of the Department of Homeland Security.  The department has a wide range of responsibilities; including directing and coordinating disaster and emergency response, providing courthouse security, building coalitions with other fire and law enforcement and managing the state and federal grant funding for emergency management, homeland security and bioterrorism programs.

 While the MRC serves a number of roles within the county, our primary focus would be in support of an event that the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS) was deployed.  The SNS is a large cache of supplies used to augment depleted state and local resources in the event of any incident were the local resources were not able to cope with the surge of demand.  These incidents might include terrorist attacks, mass casualty disasters or pandemic outbreaks.

 In the event of wide scale deployment, plans are in place to open approximately 22 Points of Dispensing Sites (POD) within the county.  These POD’s would be tasked with the distribution of appropriate medications and education to all citizens of the county.  The goal is to distribute medication to all 700,000 residents of Collin County within 48 hours.

A POD is staffed by both volunteer medical and non-medical personal.  Far more non-medical staff are required than medical.  This is where you come in.  The Homeland Security Staff of Collin County has recognized that the amateur radio community has much to offer in incidents such as this.  In addition to our roles as communicators, it is recognized that we bring talents such as logistic support, IT, and in some cases can fill the role of both medical and non-medical volunteers.

In support of our roles as communicators, the county has purchased equipment to provide communications kits to equip these POD’s.  Bill Fell, KK5PB, designed a very comprehensive go-kit that will be deployed to a POD when necessary.  This self contained kit includes VHF/UHF voice and digital communications equipment.

 Over the summer we will be completing the implementation of these kits.  Your assistance will be needed in both the assembly and training required to operate these kits in event of a deployment.

Getting involved is easy.  The only requirement is that you attend an orientation session.  These are generally held every month.  Other training is also made available to volunteers including personal preparedness, ICS training, and various other medical and non-medical training classes.  These classes are offered for free or very low cost.

 If you are interested in participating, the best way to sign up is to go to www.metroplexvolunteers.com, and select Collin County.  As you fill out the form, one tab is labeled “My Skills”.  Make the Ham operator selection.  You will find there are numerous other sections that involve medical professionals, you can skip these.  Only the basic information is required to sign up.  You may also sign up by going to the Collin County MRC website and downloading an application.

Thank you for your time, the signup information will be posted to the Collin County Yahoo group and will be made available on my website www.w5adc.com.


Collin County MRC


Volunteer Application


 Metroplex Volunteers