Do you have questions about volunteering? Look no further! Here are some answers to the most commonly asked questions from our volunteers:
How do I become a volunteer?
- To start, please complete your volunteer profile in the Virginia Volunteer Health System (VVHS). Your MRC Unit Coordinator will send you a Welcome Email outlining the next steps.
- All volunteers must complete orientation and pass a Virginia State Police Background check. We will process the background check for you using the documents you uploaded to your VVHS profile. If you need assistance completing your profile, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are not sure where your application stands in the process, please email us to find out.
- Additional training courses are required before deployment.
How will I know about volunteer opportunities?
- The MRC Unit Coordinator or designee will send a VVHS alert by email and/or phone. It is important that you keep your VVHS profile up to date and that you respond to these alerts in a timely manner.
- The VVHS alert will include all the pertinent details about when and where to report, the duties of the assignment, and qualifications required. Read the alert carefully and record your response. You will receive an email confirming your deployment. If you are not available or willing to support the specific mission for any reason it is OK to respond unavailable. We need your response either way.
- Volunteers must NEVER self-deploy.
What area does the Greater Prince William MRC serve? Where will I serve?
- We serve the following jurisdictions: the City of Manassas, City of Manassas Park and Prince William County, as well as the towns of Dumfries, Occoquan, Quantico, and Haymarket. A majority of our volunteer needs and opportunities are located in the Greater Prince William area.
- There are times were volunteers are requested to support in other areas of the region, state, or country (very rare). You always have the choice to decide if you are willing and able to volunteer in other localities. Volunteers should read the alerts carefully before responding with their availability to support a specific mission.
- Looking for another MRC unit? View a statewide map of the Virginia MRC and contact your coordinator today!
What is the time commitment to volunteer?
- Although there are training requirements, there are no service hours requirements in the MRC. We understand that your work and personal commitments will determine your availability. When there is an emergency, we hope you will be ready and able to respond.
- To ensure an engaged volunteer force, we do ask that you participate in at least 1 activity annually, this can include any of the following:
- Complete training – in-person or online
- Participate in an exercise
- Participate in an emergency response
- Participate in any other in-person or online deployment activity
Does Greater Prince William MRC keep track of my volunteer hours?
- GPW MRC thrives on the active involvement of its volunteers completing training, serving in community outreach events, participating in Emergency Preparedness and Response exercises and drills, and responding to public health emergencies.
- Volunteer hours demonstrate the impact of our work and drive benefits such as grant funding for Capacity Building Awards, and more opportunities to reach the underserved areas of our community. These hours are reported to the State MRC, National MRC, and our community on a routine basis.
- Your personal record of your volunteer hours is available for download from your VVHS profile under the Deployments tab. Contact your MRC Coordinator for assistance.
What training is available?
- In order to fulfill the mission of the MRC and Greater Prince William MRC Unit, it is important that our volunteers become educated about emergency preparedness and response via Core Competencies courses and emergency exercises.
- TRAIN – train.org – is our online learning management system. TRAIN is a robust catalog of training on a variety of public health and emergency preparedness topics. Many of the courses offer Continuing Education credit for a variety of profession. You are welcome and encouraged to take any courses of interest to you, however there are several required courses for MRC Volunteers.
- The Greater Prince William MRC Training Plan contains all required and recommended training for volunteers. Continue your public health training by checking out some of these courses!
- Please help us keep our training records up to date. Anytime you complete training, especially if it is in TRAIN, please send us an email -otherwise we might not know you did it!
How do I access TRAIN?
TRAIN is a separate system from VVHS, but once your VVHS account is approved, a TRAIN account will be created for you (please allow 24-48 hours for the TRAIN account to be created). To access your new TRAIN account:
- Click Can’t Log In? on the TRAIN homepage and enter the primary email address you used for your VVHS account.
- You will receive an email from email@example.com. The email will tell you your TRAIN login name and grant you temporary account access.
- Set your preferred password and then you will be able to access your TRAIN account.
- Click “Your Profile” and complete your account details. Fields marked with a red line are required.
- In the “Organization tab” it doesn’t matter what you enter here, but these fields are required. If you are not sure what to put, we recommend:
- Organization: Medical Reserve Corps
- Department/Division: Greater Prince William MRC
- Bureau: you can leave it blank, it’s not required
- Title: Volunteer