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Gov. Charlie Baker proclaimed Saturday, April 6, as the first-ever Massachusetts Medical Reserve Corps Day. This recognition honors 38 MRC units across the Bay State. MRC volunteers serve the public throughout the year, and during times of greatest need.
In 2018 alone, the local MRC responded to an unprecedented three disasters in the area, according to Upper Merrimack Valley MRC Coordinator, Nancy Burns.
During Winter Storm Quinn last March, members staffed emergency shelters and warming centers across the region. In September they responded to the Merrimack Valley gas explosions, which killed one, and two months later to the measles exposure in Lowell.
Ongoing community service includes supporting blood pressure screenings and annual flu clinics. The volunteers provide first aid at sporting events, and teach the public about preparedness.
The Westford Health Department is the host agent for the local unit called the Upper Merrimack Valley MRC. The Westford-based MRC also covers Billerica, Chelmsford, Dracut, Lowell, Tewksbury, and Tyngsboro.
The national program was launched in July 2002, as a result of the events of September 11. The grant for the local unit was awarded in September 2003 and six months later, the town’s health director hired Westford resident Nancy Burns as the MRC coordinator Burns also serves on Westford CAT’s Board of Trustees.
For more information, visit umvmrc.org.