Students filled 500 rugged, specially designed backpacks with emergency medical supplies and equipment to meet a variety of prevalent disaster-related health needs such as infection control, trauma care, diagnostics and personal protection tools.
The packs will be distributed to Medical Reserve Corps members – trained volunteer medical personnel – to enable them to address community health needs when a disaster strikes.
“It’s incredible to think that us packing these packs will end up in the hands of someone who will actually treat sick or injured people and it makes me want to pack the supplies just a little more carefully so they will be able to find the right supplies when they need them,” said Shirin, a student at Cate School.
MRC units support first responders during local emergencies and are often deployed to other areas throughout the U.S. needing medical expertise.
In California there are more than 4,600 members of 45 MRC units and nationwide tens of thousands more. Often the units lack the appropriate medical resources necessary to mobilize in an emergency, which is why Direct Relief created a program to equip them with the tools they need and help local communities prepare for a disaster.
To date, 1,735 MRC packs have been provided to more than a dozen MRCs in California, including Santa Barbara, Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and San Diego units. We plan to continue expanding the MRC program throughout California and to other states.
For the students at Cate School, being a part of the program helped them gain awareness of issues beyond their daily lives.
Hannah, a student at Cate School said, “It is a great experience for the Cate community because we are helping outside our small world.”
The packs put together yesterday have already begun to ship from the warehouse. Shipping will continue over the next two months.