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National Public Health Week & National Vounteer Week Emphasize Need for Emergency Preparedness in Tennessee

Monday, April 07, 2014 | 08:53am

NASHVILLE – During the second week in April, two national celebrations will be marked across Tennessee:  National Public Health Week and National Volunteer Week. The Tennessee Department of Health and many county and metro health departments are using the week to encourage more residents to volunteer for service in the Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps.

“While we have a great group of men and women already participating in the Medical Reserve Corps, we need additional Tennesseans who are willing to serve if there’s an emergency affecting public health,” said TDH Commissioner John Dreyzehner, MD, MPH. “Major emergencies and disasters involving disease or injury to large numbers of people can overwhelm first responders, hospitals and other health personnel within the first 12 to 72 hours. Volunteers who have been organized, trained and assigned to assist where their expertise is best applied can provide an important surge capacity during these critical early hours, supplementing medical and health personnel shortages or functioning as support personnel.”

Anyone can volunteer to serve in the Tennessee Medical Reserve Corps. While the program needs volunteers who have medical and healthcare backgrounds, it also needs people with other skills and expertise including experience in administration, language interpretation, transportation, security, computers, clerical work and other services. Sometimes the program just needs eager volunteers with no specialized training to pitch in and do what needs to be done in an emergency.

For questions regarding volunteering, you may also call 615-532-7354 or complete an on-line registration at

Throughout the second week of April, MRC units are planning various activities to commemorate National Volunteer Week. Activities include:

Knox County MRC – Display in Regional Public Health Department lobby

Sullivan County MRC and Northeast Region MRC – Presence at Northeast State Community College annual Wellness Fair

Sullivan County MRC – Volunteers will participate in a disaster drill at the Tri-Cities Regional Airport in Blountville April 22. There will be a simulated plane crash that creates a mass casualty incident. MRC volunteers as well as three HOSA groups from Sullivan County schools will be used as victims for the incident.

Northeast Region MRC – All Northeast MRC volunteers will be messaged through the Tennessee Volunteer Mobilizer to thank them for their continued service and support

East Region MRC – Display in Regional Public Health Department lobby

Nashville Davidson MRC – Nashville MRC will participate in "Preparedness Day at the Park" April 10 at Centennial Park. The Nashville Davidson Emergency Preparedness Program is hosting this event in collaboration with various agency partners.

Shelby County MRC – The Shelby County Health Department Public Health and Emergency Preparedness Program and MRC will be teaching CPR classes at local senior centers during Public Health/Volunteer Week. CPR education is a great need in this community. Shelby County 911 operators have expressed they often teach community members how to perform CPR on the phone during an emergency, thus delaying precious seconds to effective CPR. Several MRC volunteers will assist the Emergency Preparedness program to provide this critical training at the following senior centers:

  • Latham Terrace – 855 South 4th St., Memphis, 38126, April 7, 10 a.m.
  • Magnolia Terrace – 669 N. 3rd St., Memphis, 38107, April 7, 2 p.m.
  • Orange Mound Senior Center – 2590 Park Ave., Memphis, 38114, April 9, 10:30 a.m. & 12:30 p.m.


West Tennessee MRC – Display and active recruitment of volunteers at the Spring Conference 2014 Emergency Preparedness Training for Early Childhood Professionals, Saturday, April 12 at the University of Tennessee at Martin.

The mission of the Tennessee Department of Health is to protect, promote and improve the health and prosperity of people in Tennessee. TDH has facilities in all 95 counties and provides direct services for more than one in five Tennesseans annually as well as indirect services for everyone in the state, including emergency response to health threats, licensure of health professionals, regulation of health care facilities and inspection of food service establishments.  Learn more about TDH services and programs at

Tennessee Emergency Management Agency | Health | Press Releases