The Readiness Dispatch

Spring 2016, Issue 27


Welcome to the Readiness DispatchIf you would like to share a story or best practice information, please contact Katherine McCormack, RN, MPH, Statewide MRC Liaison at    
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In this Issue 


Elise Piper Volunteers

Uncas Health District on TV

Shoreline Disaster Workshop

2016 Challenge Award Winners

Pomperaugh MRC 


George Dunn, Emergency Manager, City of Middletown receiving an MRC jacket from Kevin MCCrewell Logistics Lead CR-MRC
following the March 2, 2016 CR-MRC meeting in East Hartford.

Mr. Dunn was the March guest speaker and he presented the Region 3 and CT response to the Clean Energy, Middletown, explosion.  In his presentation, Mr. Dunn discussed the ICS system and how it worked and the response from volunteers to support an incident of the magnitude the explosion created.

Approximately 40 CR-MRC volunteers attended and participated in the discussion.
March 18, 2016, in collaboration with Comcast's local access television station based in Norwich, CT, the Uncas Health District began airing a monthly 30- minute talk show called Public Health Matters with the Uncas Health District hosted and written by Director of Health, Patrick McCormack.

The show features the latest information on current health topics, prevention and treatment methods, and community resources in the greater Norwich area. Each episode will highlight one or more local health issues, including gambling awareness, tobacco use, responsible pet ownership, immunizations, mental health, emergency preparedness and sun safety. Local as well as regional experts will be featured. The goal of the show is to prevent health problems and promote healthy behavior.

The local cable platform brings these important messages to residents in the comfort of their own home. "One of the best ways to help our region be healthy, strong, and resilient is through the power of information. If we can help our neighbors help themselves, we will all be stronger," says Patrick McCormack, Director of Health.

Helping behind the scenes are a group of local volunteers from the Uncas Health District Medical Reserve Corps or MRC. These volunteers are trained to help out in public health emergencies. The Uncas Health District MRC decided to increase their role in public health, and several members raised their hands to be trained as the production team, operating video cameras and editing in the studio.

Each show is aired twice a month on the 1st and 3rd Friday at 8:30 pm. The shows will be archived on the department's website and YouTube.
Tune in to learn more about how to stay healthy and happy!


CT Big Winners in New England

1250 CR REGION I Connecticut Kristin Magnussen

1278 CR REGION I Connecticut Bruce Varga bvarga

1105 CR REGION I Connecticut Allyson Schulz

2182 CDP REGION I Connecticut Robin Lucas

447 CDP REGION I Connecticut Greta Broneill

1327 CR REGION I Connecticut Katharine Hickcox

973 CR REGION I Connecticut Terron Jones
According to Jennifer Frenette, BS, CHEP, EMT-I, I/C(Ret.) 
Regional Coordinator, USDHHS Region I (New England),each award was $15,000


Readiness Dispatch is Growing!! 
We're growing. Please join us.
The Dispatch is a quarterly publication sent to over 1000 MRC volunteers.  Approximately 23 percent of the volunteers open and read the Dispatch.  This is well within the national open rate for electronic publications of 20-25 percent. 

If there are other areas of interest that you would like to see in the Dispatch, please let us know.

Contact Katherine McCormack at

Let's keep this growing. Please distribute the Dispatch to all MRC volunteers and others who may be interested in the great things that the MRC in Connecticut is doing. 

Connecticut Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Highlights

Connecticut MRC units have been very active during the last quarter, as evidenced by the activities highlighted below.A1

Statewide MRC Meeting

CT MRC leadership met with State MRC Coordinator, Jonathan Best, and MRC Liaison, Katherine McCormack,on March 1, 2016 at CHA in Wallingford.
Mr. Best presented DPH up-dates, MRC regional contract information, MRC funding accountability and reporting, and recruitment and sustainability.  Photo of the majority of CT MRC leaders, (wearing MRC clothing) with Mr. Best.

Photo by Jess Stelmaszek. 

Elise Piper Volunteers in New Orleans

Elise Piper, Health Educator and MRC Coordinator with the Town of Wallingford recently went to New Orleans as part of a group that was organized around volunteering with the New Orleans Medical Reserve Corps ( NOMRC) during Mardi Gras.  She assisted the EMS service and American Red Cross volunteers at First Aid stations, which were set up at various locations. Specifically she served at the Canal/Carondelet and St. Charles/Felicity stations.  She observed the operations of the New Orleans Mobile Command Center. Piper stated that the New Orleans Police, Fire, EMS, Emergency Preparedness leaders were experienced and well trained.  She went on to say that she was " honored to have been given the opportunity to work with all volunteers and staff" with the NO MRC.

Wallingford MRC


Shoreline MRC Children's Needs in a Disaster Workshop
On March 23, 2016 the Shoreline MRC hosted a "Children's Needs in a Disaster" workshop at the Guilford Fire Department under the leadership of Bruce Lockwood. Bruce brought with him many years of experience and passion. He is a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) serving as the Acting Captain of Emergency Management for the East Hartford Fire Department and also serves as the Chair of the Capitol Region Emergency Planning Council.
The workshop was a preview of the "Pediatric Disaster Response and Emergency Preparedness" (MGT-439) course hosted by the New Britain Emergency Medical Services Academy. Bruce gave participants a brief overview of how to prepare and respond effectively, appropriately and safely to a disaster incident involving children. The course addressed the specific needs of pediatric patients in the event of a community-based incident. Bruce focused particularly on the children with functional access needs and some of the considerations that come along in planning and responding to them and their families.

Pomperaug Health District MRC Unit

Photo from March 24, 2016, depicting a very productive partnership between Pomperaug Health District MRC unit, Woodbury CERT and American Red Cross.  
MRC and CERT volunteers  gathered at the regional Red Cross office in Southbury  to coordinate the installation of  free smoke detectors through FEMA's national HomeFire Preparedness Program. 
Pictured L to R:  Woodbury CERT Coordinators Randy Ashmore and Kirk Denton; MRC Volunteers Jackie Ritacco and Evan Jones.  Not pictured:  Pomperaug Health District MRC unit leader Robin Lucas.  
The volunteers installed more than 20 smoke detectors, free-of-charge, to senior citizens in Southbury's Heritage Village on March 24.  Additional installation dates are being finalized: the demand for smoke detectors has been brisk, as there have been several fires in Heritage Village in recent months.

Naugatuck Valley MRC 
The Naugatuck Valley MRC hosted a Psychological First Aid Training class on March 2, 2016 at the Echo Hose Training Facility in Shelton, CT.

Kathy Dean, MSW, Coordinator of the CT Disaster Behavioral Health Network presented the training. Over 40 people attended the event and they represented five MRC units and four CERT units. There was regional participation from CT DEMHS Regions 2 and 5. The Shelton Emergency Management Director, conducted the oath for 21 MRC volunteers .
All attendees received a Psychological First Aid QuickSeries pocket guide

Volunteers taking the Oath Type

Kathy Dean MSW teaching course
Region 1 JITT Kits 
In 2015 the Medical Reserve Corps units in CT Region 1 (Greenwich, Stamford, Westport-Weston-Wilton, Fairfield -Easton, Bridgeport and Stratford-Trumbull- Monroe) began an initiative to design and build portable tool kits to be used by health departments and health districts in supporting Point of Dispensing (POD) clinics, local distribution sites and shelters.

The kits include, among other things, Just-in-Time Training (JITT) materials that consist of Job Action Sheets (JAS), forms, medical algorithm sheets, Power Point presentations and videos. The kits can be used prior to and during a public health emergency event. The kits also contain hard copies of all documents needed to support training for at least one operational period as well as USB flash drives, DVDs and CDs that contain electronic copies of all documents, training videos and Power Point presentations.
In addition, Region 1 MRC unit leaders made a decision to purchase palm size projectors, head sets, portable DVD players with built in screens and portable speakers for each of the units. This purchase allows each MRC unit to set up multiple volunteer training stations quickly and efficiently.

As part of the Statewide CT DPH Full Scale Exercise starting the week of April 11, 2016, the Stamford Department of Health will operate a POD clinic using the JITT kit to train clinic workers. The April exercise will be the official kick-off opportunity for the Region 1 JITT Kit.

Region 1 MRC Tool Kits


Remember to Keep Your ECP Profile Current



The Emergency Credentialing Program continues to test the State's emergency notification system by calling large batches of volunteers. Groups, such as OR nurses, are placed in the Everbridge calling cue. A pre-recorded message is added along with possible responses such as "Press 1 if you would be able to respond within 6 hours; press 2 if you are not able to respond." The Everbridge system then calls you using your primary and secondary contact numbers. It will call you several times over the course of 2 - 3 hours or until you provide a response.

Please take a moment to log into your account and verify your information. The website is:

Your username is your email address and your password is the 6-digit number the computer generated and sent you when you enrolled.


Thank you for your continued interest in serving the residents of Connecticut.

 The Readiness Dispatch
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