MEXICO – The Oxford County Medical Reserve Corps, in cooperation with Mexico and Dixfield health officer David Saphier, is seeking clinical and support volunteers to help communities respond to major emergencies.

At 6 p.m. Monday, April 27, in the Calvin Lyons Meeting Hall in the Mexico municipal building, the corps will conduct a presentation that includes important information about keeping people safe when community emergencies occur, unit coordinator Kevin Saisi of Rumford said.

“The Oxford County Medical Reserve Corps needs clinical and support volunteers to assist response agencies,” Saisi said in a Monday report. “If you can sit or stand and hand out paperwork, you can help.”

He said the corps also needs people with medical and mental health training.

“If you have at least a first-aid card or training in behavioral health (MANDT, NAPPI, CPI), we need you,” he said.

The corps was established to assist health-care systems when they become overwhelmed.

“We help our communities to become more resilient by training citizens to fill vital roles in planning, preparing, responding and the recovery from unexpected events,” Saisi said. “We are creating teams in each community to focus on building community resiliency.”

Because community needs may vary since some areas may have existing support structures in place while others may not, Saisi said the corps’ role is to assess the needs and find ways to meet those needs.

The corps offers training to volunteers and partner agencies in a variety of areas, such as personal and family preparedness, coping and helping others to cope with losses, incident management systems, and various functions associated with helping a community recover from an incident. For example, Saisi said the corps can provide support of people with special medical, behavioral and mental health needs in an evacuation shelter; staffing of mass immunization centers to prevent the spread of contagious disease; and alternate care sites to handle overflows when hospitals are overwhelmed.

“We also support local aid stations when a community becomes isolated by weather or other factors, and family assistance centers to support those waiting to hear word of their loved ones when a mass casualty event occurs,” he said.

When times were tough in the past, community members joined together to help one another, he said.

“Now is the time to build our community structure and align our resources to prepare to prosper in the wake of an unexpected event,” Saisi said. “Join us on Monday, April 27, at 6 p.m. to learn how you can be a part of our community team.”

Refreshments will be served. For more information, call Saisi at 357-3468.

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