Health Department seeks volunteers to be ready in emergencies

September 5, 2011

LIMA — The director of emergency response at the Allen County Health Department is looking for volunteers.Tom Berger is reviving the department’s Medical Reserve Corps after a one-year hiatus because of staff shuffling.The corps would serve as a backup in case of emergency; it currently has 23 members. The focus is to line up medical professionals, but others can sign on to help with clerical or logistic work.“It ranges from doctors to anyone who’s interested in helping out the community,” Berger said. “We hope to bolster our numbers by bringing in medical and nonmedical volunteers. There is some training that we will do to assure that they are capable to respond and not be a hindrance,” he said.Volunteers would be called upon to help out in response to disasters ranging from epidemics to floods or worse. The work they do can vary.“That could be pushing out a vaccine that may be needed or augmenting the staff at one of the hospitals if there’s a big surge there,” he said. The group meets next at 7 p.m. Sept. 29 at the health department office on West Market Street.Berger thought it was important to keep the program going.“It’s something I feel could be an asset to the community,” he said.You can comment on this story at