Medical Reserve Corps


Medical Reserve Corp logo with blue star and red shadow background

The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was created in 2002 in response to the 2001 terrorist attacks. The MRC is designed to bring together practicing and retired healthcare professionals from a diversity of fields, including physicians, nurses, hospital and public health workers, mental health experts, veterinarians, and other medical professions. In addition, volunteers without a background in medical training are needed. Nationally, The MRC network comprises nearly 1,000 community-based units and almost 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories.

These professionals, working together with the non-medical volunteers, comprise the MRC, which supplements existing "first responder" emergency systems.

The Washington County MRC was created in 2004 by Washington County Public Health and Environment (WCPHE) to support a broad spectrum of public and environmental health initiatives as well as emergency preparedness. This program was initially administered by Community Thread, a local nonprofit volunteer center, and is now managed within the Public Health and Environment Department. 

The Washington County MRC has more than 100 volunteers. We are one of 42 MRC units in Minnesota with nearly 10,000 volunteers statewide, and part of a national force of 974 units with more than 202,000 volunteers.

Examples of disasters and threats that could require mobilizing and deployment of MRC volunteers include:
  • Biological and chemical threats
  • Foodborne Illness Outbreaks
  • Radiological Emergencies
  • Natural disasters, such as tornadoes and flooding

Volunteering with Washington County MRC

Mission Statement
The mission of the Washington County Medical Reserve Corps is to improve the health and safety of residents of Washington County by providing a framework for local volunteers who have medical, public health and other essential emergency response skills to contribute their time and expertise during public health emergency and non-emergency functions and initiatives throughout the year.

Vision Statement
We will be exceptional leaders and partners as we engage and inspire others to achieve safe, healthy communities and a sustainable environment.

The Washington County MRC (WCMRC) has over 100 background checked volunteers. Minnesota Responds is the statewide database and messaging system used by Washington County and other Minnesota MRC units and emergency response programs.

Minnesota Responds is a web-based system, administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, which is used by local units to register, credential, track, and communicate with volunteers interested in assisting with health-related activities and emergency readiness. It is a partnership that integrates local, regional, and statewide volunteer programs to assist our public health and healthcare systems during a disaster.

Volunteer Emergency Response Roles

  • Mass Prophylaxis and/or Vaccination at a Public Open Point of Dispensing 
  • Family Assistance Center Staffing 
  • Radiological Reception Center Staffing
  • Foodborne Illness or Communicable Disease Outbreak Investigation Staffing
  • Monthly Communication Drills
  • Community Emergency Response Exercises/Drills
Volunteer Community Support Roles
  • Targeted Public Awareness Campaigns
  • Health Education and Health Screening
  • Community Education Outreach (preparedness)
  • Seasonal Vaccination Clinics
  • Annual Winter and Summer Blood Drives
  • Annual Washington County Fair 
  • Monthly WCMRC and Metro Trainings
If you would like to be a Washington County MRC Volunteer, please go to to create a profile.

If you have more questions before signing up, please email