Forward thinking – Winthrop’s Medical Reserve Corps sponsoring Emergency Preparedness Day

Thursday, September 16, 2010
By Joe Domelowicz

The Winthrop Medical Reserve Corps, a volunteer emergency response coalition designed to support and augment local professional emergency response units during a hazard situation, is busily preparing the town’s First Emergency Preparedness Day, to be held on Saturday, September 25 from 9 a.m. to 12 noon. The practice run will take place at the driveway turnaround in front of the Cummings School on Pauline Street.

“September is National Emergency Preparedness Month and in coordination with that the MRC is sponsoring this day geared to help local residents learn how to be prepared for emergency situations,” explained Precinct Four Town Councilwoman, and local MRC Coordinator Jeanne Maggio.

According to Maggio, the September 25 event will include representatives from all of Winthrop’s professional emergency response agencies, including the Winthrop Department of Health, Winthrop Fire Department, Winthrop Police Department, Winthrop Harbormaster and Animal Control Officer, as well as the police Mobile Disaster Response vehicle, K-9 Search and Rescue Unit, The American Red Cross, Action Ambulance and Woodside Hardware.

“The Winthrop Police will also be conducting their Drug Take Back program, designed to have all unneeded prescription drugs safely disposed,” said Maggio.

The event is being planned as a family friendly event, with balloons for the children and refreshments available as well. There will also be displays from each department participating in the event and take away informational packets designed to help in an emergency.

Maggio began coordinating the town’s MRC prior to becoming a Town Councilor, when she was still a member of the Winthrop Board of Health.

“The MRC is a volunteer organization that includes doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other professional and non-professional residents, who want to be able to offer their expertise and energy to the town during emergency situations,” explained Maggio. “We are not an organization of just doctors and nurses, we have many people from all different walks of life involved in the organization and we meet on the third Wednesday of each month to do planning and offer training for our volunteers. Anyone who is interested in being part of the MRC is encouraged to come to a meeting and see what we are all about.”

Maggio explained that the Winthrop MRC currently has an active enrollment of more than 50 local residents, with another 50 or so members in reserve. Over the last few years the group has been a major resource for both planned events, such as annual flu clinics and unplanned emergency situations.

“For instance, our members were on stand by during the recent Hurricane Earl threat and would have been to mobilize if we had been needed,” said Maggio.

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