Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)

Essex County MRC is part of a national network of medical and non-medical volunteers.

MRC activities are categorized as:

  • Public Health Promotion
    • Community Outreach, Clinics, Education, etc. AND
  • Emergency Preparedness & Response
    • Training, Drills/Exercises; Real World Event Responses

We typically operate within Essex County, however we may be activated regionally if requested.

We also have a specialty team – the Essex County Animal Response Team (CART).  Learn more here!


STEP 1 – Read the Statements of Agreements

STEP 2 – Submit this form

STEP 3 – Create a ServNY Account 

  • If you have an existing NYSDOH Health Commerce System Account:
  • Most people create an account using
  • Be sure to save your username and password for these accounts!

STEP 4 – Start Training!

There are only 2 required trainings:

2. IS-100.C: Introduction to the Incident Command System, ICS 100

STEP 5 – Update your ServNY Account with completed trainings.

Need help along the way?  Contact the program coordinator: 

Jessica Darney Buehler at 518-873-3500 or

Regular Communication with MRC Volunteers

Volunteers can expect quarterly Training, Drill and Activation opportunities.

Training Opportunities

Across the nation many MRC volunteers have served in temporary shelters established due to natural disasters.  Being familiar with shelter operations is a highly recommended training.

Drills & Exercises

Most drills are virtual – email or text messages regarding the ability of volunteers to respond given a mock scenario.  Drills allow the MRC Coordinator practice in sending alerts and scheduling volunteers and allow volunteers to practice receiving & replying to deployment requests.  There is also typically at least 1 opportunity per year for MRC volunteers to participate in a larger public health emergency response exercise.


MRC Volunteers are offered activation opportunities in:

  • health promotion (Health Dept or community events);
  • drills and exercises; and
  • response to public health emergencies.

History of the Medical Reserve Corps

Following the events of September 11, 2001, it became clear that there was a  need for coordinating the services of thousands of well-meaning volunteers who showed up at disaster scenes wanting to help. There was a need for a mechanism for checking credentials, assigning volunteers where they could do the most good, and pre-planning to ensure their safety. It was evident volunteers needed to be trained to work effectively as a team while interacting with other agencies at a scene.

The Office of the U. S. Surgeon General announced the formation of the Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) program in 2002. The overall goal of the national initiative is to establish teams of local volunteer medical professionals and laypersons to contribute their skills and expertise during times of public health emergencies.

Learn more about the National Profile of the MRC in this 2017 Network Profile Report.