Burlington Volunteer Reserve Corps
A Medical Reserve Corps Unit
The Burlington Volunteer Reserve Corps is part of a network of volunteer organizations that supports communities nationwide in some pretty amazing ways. Our Corps here in Burlington consists of 400 members of all ages who work together on various public health initiatives around town, putting on programs and making sure we are prepared in the case of a public health emergency.
The BVRC manages the biannual household hazardous waste collection day (a favorite in my house) as well as the town’s annual flu clinic. The flu clinic, in fact, serves as a drill for the group, helping them practice implementation of our town’s Emergency Dispensing Site Plan, a plan required by the state Department of Public Health and the CDC to be sure we are prepared to get medications or vaccinations to residents in the case of an emergency.
Attending these clinics helps the town in two very concrete ways: First, it benefits Corps members who get to practice carrying out our emergency plan, and second, the DPH is able to bill insurance companies for the vaccine and an administrative fee that funds other public health programs. And, of course, it slows the spread of influenza virus, keeping our community healthier!
The Corps also puts on various educational and preventive programs all year long, from emergency preparedness to food safety, CPR and first aid to fall prevention. As we begin moving away from the pandemic and into a new version of normal, the Board of Health helps to reinstate some of the programs that were put on hold over the last two years and continue supporting our community.
Our Director of Public Health is the leader of the MRC, responsible for recruitment, training, etc., and there is also a part-time staff member, funded through a grant. Volunteers don’t have to have a medical background, and there is free training available to MRC volunteers.
The MRC is involved in the background in ways you might have never considered! I highly encourage you to visit the website at www.burlingtonmrc.org to find out how you can get involved.