In recognition of its work with Direct Relief to equip civilian volunteer Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) members with specially designed packs, FedEx Corp. today received the 2012 National Leadership and Partnership Award in Nashville, TN.
The Office of the Civilian Volunteer Medical Reserve Corps, overseen by the U.S. Surgeon General, presented the award to FedEx for sponsoring the development and expansion of Direct Relief’s MRC Med-Pack Program, which has equipped over 1,200 MRC.
The MRC units were established in 2002 in a post-9/11 mandate from the U.S. Surgeon General requiring that each state recruit, train and equip a group of medical volunteers that would be ready and able to help in the event of a public health emergency.
Volunteer MRC units are community-based, and function locally preparing for and responding to local emergencies. MRC volunteers supplement existing emergency and public health resources and include medical and public health professionals such as physicians, nurses, emergency medical technicians (EMTs), pharmacists and dentists.
While the mandate requires that counties across America to recruit and train groups of civilian volunteers, public financial resources are not available to help equip the MRC units. That is where Direct Relief stepped in to design, field-test, and donate the Med-Packs.
“Direct Relief’s long experience responding to the some of the world’s largest emergencies, including Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake, has reinforced how important it is to ensure that the local health professionals have immediate access to the right resources when disaster strikes their communities,” said Thomas Tighe, President and CEO of Direct Relief. “FedEx, which has such keen awareness of emergency preparedness and deep involvement in post-emergency response, understood this immediately and provided both the encouragement and lead sponsorship to make it happen.”
To date over 1,200 MRC volunteers in 15 counties in California have been equipped with the rugged packs, which were designed to meet the requirements of emergency personnel who provided extensive input and field testing. The packs contain medical essentials, basic diagnostic equipment, triage materials, medications and first-aid supplies and are intended to be highly mobile and functional during an emergency.
“These Med-Packs are designed for use by specially-trained volunteers who devote their time and expertise to preparing for and responding to emergencies. FedEx is committed to supporting local communities through this forward-thinking prepardeness program. As we look to our continued work in the disaster response area, it is great to know that hundreds of volunteers stand trained, equipped and ready to help in the case of emergency. While it truly is a highlight and a validation to receive this award, FedEx finds ongoing gratification in helping organizations like Direct Relief deliver needed resources around the world,” said Shane O’Connor, Program Advisor for FedEx Global Citizenship. He added, “Working closely with Direct Relief on this initiative will not only aid in more rapid response, but also in the long-term goal of community resiliency and recovery when disaster strikes.”