Multnomah County, OR Health Reserve Corps

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Multnomah County, OR, US

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Type: Policy

Status: Launched in 2005

Source File:


What is the Health Reserve Corps?
The Health Reserve Corps (HRC) is a voluntary unit, made up of local licensed health care professionals who will be called upon to assist in the response to large-scale heath or medical emergencies.

Why create a Health Reserve Corps?
Since the events of Fall 2001, there has been a growing recognition of the importance of health care providers and institutions in responding to large-scale emergencies.

The Portland metropolitan area may need additional health care providers to support the health and medical aspects of an emergency response. To address this situation and improve our community’s preparedness, Multnomah County Health Department has developed the Health Reserve Corps.

The Health Reserve Corps program provides a unique opportunity for health professionals to become a prepared and effective part of the health response to an emergency. Identifying providers prior to an emergency will increase our county’s ability to rapidly and effectively respond to community health needs as they occur.

Who can join?
HRC volunteers may include (but are not limited to) the following types of health care personnel:

  • Certified Nurse Assistant
  • Mental Health Provider
  • Pharmacy Technician
  • Registered Nurse
  • Dentist
  • Nurse Practitioner
  • Physician
  • Respiratory Therapist
  • Emergency Medical Technician
  • Optometrist
  • Physician Assistant
  • Social Worker
  • Licensed Practical Nurse
  • Paramedic
  • Psychologist
  • Veterinarian
  • Lab Technician
  • Pharmacist
  • Radiology Technician

Medical examiner personnel, massage therapists, licensed acupuncturists, and other licensed providers are also welcome in their specialty areas. All volunteers must meet the requirements of their respective licensing or certification boards.

What activities will volunteers participate in?
HRC volunteers will participate in large-scale emergency response operations and may supplement staff shortages at healthcare facilities. Volunteers may be utilized in the following operations:

  • Medical Care Points, Rapid Screening Points (temporary screening and treatment clinics)
  • Mass prophylaxis/vaccination clinics
  • Disease Investigation & Contact Tracing

When will HRC volunteers be activated?
HRC volunteers will be activated when additional health professionals are needed to meet the demands of a health or medical emergency.

What about liability protection and workers compensation?
All HRC volunteers will work under the Multnomah County Health Department emergency response plan. As registered as volunteers of Multnomah County, volunteers will be covered for medical liability protection and workers compensation.

Will volunteers receive training?
The HRC program will provide a basic orientation for volunteers. If the Corps is activated, members will receive "just in time" training to assure they are ready to respond to the specific event. Volunteers will also have the opportunity to participate in emergency preparedness response exercises.

What should I consider before volunteering?
Potential volunteers should consider obligations to current work or family before volunteering.

  • In an emergency event would you already be involved in some aspect of response due to your current work responsibilities?
  • Do you have family obligations that would require your assistance during an emergency?