Training is one of the best benefits of membership in the Corps. There are many trainings available on a cost-free basis for MRC Volunteers, including required training for volunteers to become deployment-ready. For your convenience many trainings are available online.
Required Training for Deployment-Ready Volunteers
(Once you complete these trainings, please record having done so on the training tab in your MAResponds.org profile – here is how to do so)
I. Orientation to the Core Competencies of MRC Volunteers (MRC 101)
The Orientation course will familiarize you with the specific skills, actions and Core Competencies required of all disaster response volunteers. You will learn about the Medical Reserve Corps and its role in disaster response as well as Personal Emergency Preparedness and key policies and procedures.
We prefer that you attend a training program in person or interactively online when one is offered. If one is not scheduled – you may click on the following link to view a recording of an online training.
**This will fulfill the orientation training Requirement.
II. Psychological First Aid (PFA)
People impacted by disasters may experience a broad range of physical, psychological, cognitive and spiritual reactions. Some of these may be alleviated by support from compassionate and caring volunteers applying PFA. (this is not therapy).
To expedite your required training during the COVID-19 emergency, you may view a 2-part PFA presentation training using link and instructions below. NOTE: The Institute for Public Health and is a resource for professional education and you’ll be prompted to create a user account. There is an opportunity to earn CEU’s for some of the courses offered on the site, and if you are medical professional, you will be asked to input your credentials.
1. Go to the Institute for Public Health
2. Click Top Right tab for Online Education
3. Create a User Account
4. Scroll Down to Disaster Mental Health Section
5. Find and complete the below two courses
- Psychological First Aid Part 1
- Psychological First Aid Part 2
**This will fulfill the PFA training requirement.
NOTE: Berkshire and Franklin Volunteers who complete the above trainings (as well as a background check) and will be able to volunteer in a role-specific capacity such as for the We Read Stories or the Senior Resilience through Creativity Project.
The following ICS training is required (in addition to #s I and II above) for volunteers who will want to respond to emergencies and serve in disaster settings (i.e. emergency shelters, family reunification centers, emergency vaccination sites). You must complete a minimum of all three categories to become a “Deployment-Ready” volunteer.
III. Incident Command System (ICS)
When a disaster or incident requires a response from multiple agencies and volunteer groups (such as the MRC), effective coordination is critical. The Incident Command System (ICS) provides a flexible, standardized framework for coordinated and collaborative incident management. You might think of ICS as a common language that everyone speaks when different response groups need to work together.
Training on these topics is occasionally available through a classroom format, however, to expedite your required training during this COVID-19 Response, you may take these trainings online. Note: you will be prompted to register for a FEMA Student ID Number (SID). Here are instructions for getting a SID.
Here is a one minute video that may be helpful in providing context for ICS courses
**These will fulfill the ICS training requirement.
OPTIONAL: Additional Training
- MRC Pre Deployment Presentation
- MRC Deployment and Post Deployment Presentation
- Psychological First Aid (6 hour)
- You are the Help Until Help Arrives
- Cultural and Linguistically Appropriate Services (CLAS)
- Planning for the Needs of Children in Disasters
- Emergency Dispensing Sites (EDS or POD)
- COVID-19 Shelter Training
- Emergency Shelter Management and Operations (American Red Cross) go to www.DisasterReady.org create account and use search function
- First Aid and CPR
- Stop The Bleed
- Disaster Planning and Preparedness for Families
- Hazardous Materials
- Various hospital based training opportunities
- Advanced and Specialized ICS (www.FEMA.gov)
- Amateur Radio Operators License Training
- Just-in-Time Training JITT
- Exercises and Drills
- Working with Children in Disasters
- Emergency Animal Sheltering
- Animal Body Language and Animal Handling
- Second Response Playshop
- Large Animal Rescue
Check out our Resource Page for training videos and PPT presentations
Franklin MRC and Berkshire MRC Volunteers. If you enjoy technology and problem solving, another option for complete training requirements, please go to www.TRAIN.org/MRC and create a User Account. Please affiliate with your unit using group numbers 98 berkshire or 106 franklin. After you have done so, search for course number 4406 (Franklin) or 4410 (Berkshire) to find your required training plan.