With a donation of $50,000 from FedEx, Direct Relief is equipping the Ventura County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) with 125 customized backpacks stocked with emergency medical supplies and equipment to enable trained, credentialed, volunteer MRC medical personnel to respond immediately and effectively during local disasters. Today, Direct Relief is presenting Shane O’Connor, Program Advisor for FedEx Global Citizenship, with a Global Partner Award for FedEx’s generosity.
For more than 16 years, FedEx has supported Direct Relief’s international and U.S. programs. With in-kind shipping from FedEx, Direct Relief has delivered critical medical shipments valued at more than $60 million to its local health care providers and physicians in more than 48 countries. FedEx was one of the first Direct Relief’s corporate partners to make a commitment to join the international relief effort in response to the South Asia Tsunami by helping Direct Relief deliver $2.7 million (wholesale) of pharmaceuticals and medical supplies to the affected region.
Locally, FedEx has made a major financial commitment to disaster preparedness in Ventura County with a $50,000 grant to purchase 125 customized backpacks. The packs enable Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) members—trained, credentialed, medical personnel—to respond when disaster strikes. The ruggedized packs, available in variations for emergency medical technicians (EMTs) and nurses, contain infection control supplies, diagnostic equipment, trauma care items, and non-medical emergency items like flashlights, multi-tools, and duct tape.
The Ventura County MRC is receiving 100 packs for nurses and 25 for EMTs. In 2009, Direct Relief equipped the Santa Barbara County MRC with 100 backpacks. Direct Relief also anticipates equipping all three Los Angeles County MRC units by the end of 2010.
The California Emergency Medical Services Authority (Cal EMSA) has adopted Direct Relief’s EMT level Med-Pack as the California Standard, and is currently expanding the program to equip all California MRC units with generous support from FedEx. Cal EMSA has asked Direct Relief to equip all 4,600 current MRC members in California. The backpack design, construction, and contents are the result of a collaboration of local, national and international physicians, emergency responders and medicine clinicians.
In June 2010, the national Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) chose Direct Relief as a recipient of its 2010 Outstanding MRC Partner Organization Award. The award honors MRC Partner Organizations that support MRC units in carrying out their local missions and have provided MRC units with more opportunities to participate in public health, preparedness, and response activities. Direct Relief was nominated for the Outstanding MRC Partner Organization Award by the Medical Reserve Corps in Santa Barbara County, California for its donation of 100 customized backpacks stocked with medical supplies and equipment to outfit all volunteer medical professionals of the Santa Barbara County MRC.
Formed in 2002, the mission of the MRC is to improve the health and safety of communities across the country by organizing and utilizing public health, medical and other volunteers. MRC units, including Santa Barbara and Ventura County units, are a made up of local volunteer medical and health professionals including: physicians, nurses, veterinarians, dentists, social workers, pharmacists, chaplains, paramedics, Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), health educators, and other non-medical personnel who are willing to serve the community during medical emergencies.