The Rappahannock-Rapidan Medical Reserve Corps (RRMRC) will be 10 years old on Sept. 30! It doesn’t seem possible that it has been that long. The Medical Reserve Corps was born in 2002 from the chaos of 9/11 and the anthrax attacks that followed. These incidents illustrated the need for an organized community-based response to public health emergencies and disasters, and the Rappahannock-Rapidan Medical Reserve Corps, serving Culpeper, Fauquier, Madison, Orange and Rappahannock counties, was formed one year later.
More than 600 volunteers of varying ages, backgrounds and skills, both medical and non-medical, have been recruited and trained from the five counties served by the RRMRC. Some have moved away or moved on, but many of the original 100 recruited during the first year are still active. Today we are 475 members strong, with many volunteers serving on one or more of our 13 specialized teams. What a wonderful group of people! Always ready to learn more, share more and give more, RRMRC volunteers serve to make our community a stronger, safer and healthier place to live.
During the H1N1 flu pandemic, 280 volunteers donated 977 hours to help out at 76 vaccination clinics. RRMRC volunteers have participated in more than 200 health fairs, 14 seasonal flu clinics, 11 drills and multiple trainings. Volunteers manned the first aid tents during the reenactment of the First Battle of Manassas and at the National Boy Scout Jamboree.
Our RRMRC Facebook page, created and maintained by volunteer Tom Holbach, shares timely and relevant health and safety tips. Volunteer Mary Haak created board games used at health fairs to engage visitors while providing important information in an entertaining fashion. We continue to look for new ways to educate the public on the importance of emergency planning, healthy living and safety.
The RRMRC’s purpose is to assist the Rappahannock-Rapidan Health Department, Culpeper Regional Hospital, Fauquier Hospital and the county emergency managers in the event of a public health crisis during a disaster or other emergency. The RRMRC pre-credentials and trains volunteers to respond to public health emergencies and, in non-emergency times, to provide public health information and education.