About Us
  Youth Engagement
Teenagers are often overlooked in being active members of family and community preparedness activities. They can and should take an active role. The Weslaco Fire Department saw the need to engage our youth in age-appropriate materials and training that prepare them for small and large scale disasters. Many community preparedness programs do not offer this.  We offer teenagers the opportunity to receive an education filled with practical applications of the concepts they’ve learned in school. Some of these teenagers have already made an impact on hundreds of citizens here in Weslaco by volunteering hours towards our Vial of Life program and the Home Fire Preparedness Campaign.
 
 Medical Reserve Corps
The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 997 community-based units and over 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories.

Rio Grande Valley Medical Resrve Corps 
The Rio Grande Valley Medical Reserve Corps (RGVMRC) was established in 2007 as part of the Emergency Medical Regional Response Team (EMRRT) to respond to Emergency and Non-Emergency events in the Rio Grande Valley and in the State of Texas. Our medical team operation at incidents such as building collapse, explosions, mass casualty incidents, natural disasters and/or man made disasters. Key partners include the Lower Rio Grande Valley Development Council, MMRS, Homeland Security. Some of agencies using the EMRRT include FBI, Border Patrol, Hidalgo and Cameron County Emergency Management, local SWAT teams, RGV Fire Departments, Hidalgo County Public Health Department, and U.S. Secret Service. One of the most significant deployments included 6 Paramedics MICU medical support team for President G.W. Bush on visit to Rio Grande Valley in August 2006. We also sent 5 Paramedics to Angleton, Texas to assist at shelters that were not intended to become medical shelters but had to take in many people with medical needs. 
The Rio Grande Valley Medical Reserve Corps volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health, improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, such as wildfires, hurricanes, tornados, blizzards, and floods, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits. Examples of activities that MRC volunteers participate in and support include:

  • Engaging Youth in Public Health Activities
  • Emergency Preparedness and Response Trainings 
  • Health Screenings
  • Emergency Sheltering
  • Obesity Reduction
  • Responder Rehab
  • Vaccination Clinics
  • Disaster Medical Support
  • Outreach to Underserved Community Members
  • Disaster Risk Reduction
  • Heart Health
  • Medical Facility Surge Capacity
  • Tobacco Cessation
  • First Aid During Large Public Gatherings
  • Community Event Support
  • Planning, Logistical, & Administrative Support
  • Healthy Living
  • Veterinary Support and Pet Preparedness
  • Health Education and Promotion


 MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, such as physicians, nurses, physician assistants, pharmacists, dentists, veterinarians, and epidemiologists. Many other community members also support the MRC, such as interpreters, chaplains, office workers, and legal advisors.

The United States is divided into 10 MRC regions, which contain any number of local MRC units. Personnel at the state level coordinate with the 11 MRC Regional Coordinators and those at the local level. MRC units represent those at
the local level, as they are responsible for implementing volunteer capabilities for emergency medical response and public health initiatives to match specific community needs.

Each MRC unit is led by an MRC unit coordinator, who matches community emergency response and public health needs with volunteer capabilities. Unit coordinators are also responsible for building partnerships with other community organizations, ensuring the sustainability of their MRC unit, and managing volunteer resources.

The need for the MRC became apparent after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, when thousands of medical and public health professionals, eager to volunteer in support of emergency relief activities, found that there was no organized approach to channel their efforts. Local responders were already overwhelmed and did not have a way to identify and manage these spontaneous volunteers, and many highly skilled people were turned away. As a result, the MRC was established to provide a way to recruit, train, and activate medical and health professionals to respond to community health needs, including disasters and other public health emergencies.
  
 Our Logo  

The logo is a key with a house on it. The key is education and tools that we are giving the youth that provides the necessary knowledge and skills to be prepared in case of an emergency. The house represents their homes or environments and the idea of involvement to protect those homes and communities.