I have volunteered to be a member of a local medical reserve corps (Pulaski County MRC Team 1). It is still in the forming stage as we recruit members, etc. There are many on-line courses that can be taken to ready yourself or to take as a review every few years. A-Train allows me (and other members of my team) to access these courses and to keep a transcript log of the courses we take (and add those not taken through this site). It also allows our leader to suggest courses for us, to contact us for periodic meetings, etc. Through this site, I can link to others such as the federal site "Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps".
I am told that most MRC’s have difficulty getting physicians to sign up. We need to train along with the EMT’s, fire departments, city planners, hospitals, etc so that when disasters (be it California’s fires or earthquakes, Arkansas’ tornados and this year floods, the Gulf’s hurricanes, school shootings, etc) happen we are ready. We need to be ready as well as willing. I would encourage you to volunteer. You can specify that you are not willing (or able) to be deployed great distances or for extended periods of time. By being educated in the lingo, organization, and vouched for (they can check your degree, etc) ahead of time it will be easier for you to be “used” when the time comes.
You can search for an MRC in your area here.
I began this course a few years ago and have been slowly learning more about disaster response (man and nature made). Arkansas recently set up a website for registering as a volunteer, so they could “vet” us prior to being called out.
The Arkansas ESAR-VHP System is an electronic database of healthcare personnel who volunteer to provide aid in an emergency or major disaster. Our System is ultimately designed to register health volunteers, apply emergency credentialing standards to registered volunteers, and allow for the verification of the identity, credentials, and qualifications of registered volunteers in an emergency.
Registered healthcare volunteers will be contacted to determine availability when there is a need for emergency personnel. If available for deployment the volunteer will be provided with the appropriate contact and reporting information.
I would like to encourage you to volunteer or at least on a personal level learn what you need to do as an individual to keep yourself and family safe. That will lessen the need of responders to do rescue.