Medical Reserve Corps serves Woodford in emergencies

Chronicle Media

Members of the Woodford County Health Department’s Medical Reserve Corps. (Photo courtesy of Woodford Co. Health Dept.)

The Woodford County Health Department hosts the Woodford County Medical Reserve Corps 

(MRC). The Medical Reserve Corps is a dedicated group of trained volunteers, both medical and 

nonmedical that will assist the health department during a public health event or response. 

The MRC meets on a monthly basis to discuss emergency preparedness topics, and conduct 

trainings. MRC members are encouraged to participate in exercises and drills throughout the 

year to help strengthen the health department’s emergency operations plan. 

The MRC Challenge Awards are funded through the National Association of City/County Health 

Officials (NACCHO) and are awarded yearly to MRC units who have a large project idea and 

apply for funding.  

The WCHD MRC applied to assist with conducting a community assessment for public health emergency response (CASPER) survey.  

The survey helped the Woodford County Health Department to identify the functional and preparedness needs among Woodford County residents. Planning for the award started shortly after getting funding in February 2017. 

Throughout the following spring and summer months, health department staff and medical 

reserve corps volunteers spent many hours developing the survey, plotting the randomly 

selected survey areas, and putting together hundreds of information packets for community 


In August 2017, the department sent out postcards to all of the households that could potentially be selected to participate.  

Throughout the next month, 10 Medical Reserve Corps volunteers worked approximately 200 hours collecting survey responses from the public. As a result, 242 surveys were collected from face-to-face and online interviews. 

In addition to general demographic information, residents were asked about individual household emergency preparedness activities, how they would receive information during an emergency, and whether they would evacuate if requested to do so.  

Furthermore, residents were asked what they considered to be the top 3 disaster threats for their household and if they were aware of the services WCHD offered.  

In total the survey consisted of 30 questions and took approximately 10 minutes to complete. The information gathered will allow local emergency response partners to better prepare and respond in a disaster. Results of the survey will also be used for community outreach and education. 

The health department participates in multiple emergency preparedness meetings and 

workgroups. Central Illinois Coalitions Active in Response Planning (CIL-CARP) is a multidiscipline group of emergency response agencies that share information and resources to 

better prepare the region for emergencies of all kinds. The Central Illinois Public Information 

Officers is a group of PIOs that meet regularly to develop plans for disseminating public 

information in the event of an emergency.  

The Illinois Department of Public Health PIO group is a network of PIOs that work to share information among local health departments. The Woodford County Emergency Planning Council is a meeting facilitated by the health department that brings together emergency planning partners from throughout Woodford County to discuss emergency response issues and continue development on county emergency plans. 





— Medical Reserve Corps serves Woodford in emergencies   —-