Why RI Responds?
The RI Responds system is used to register and credential healthcare and community volunteers who are interested in assisting when skilled individuals are most needed. By registering in advance of a public health emergency, you are able to ensure that the system can notify and inform you of opportunities to assist.
The program supports a variety of personnel who may be utilized during disasters, all-hazard response efforts and public health activities.
The Option is YOURS
There are six distinct options available to you as an interested volunteer in RI Responds
Rhode Island Medical Reserve Corps (RI MRC)
Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (RI VMRC)
Rhode Island Junior Medical Reserve Corps (RI JMRC)
Rhode Island Behavioral Health Medical Reserve Corps (RI BHMRC)
The Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers (SERV-RI)
Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT)
Learn more about each team below and make a choice that fits your interests.
For those interested in training opportunities during planned events as well as emergency situations.
RI MRC works to reduce the vulnerability of Rhode Island to disaster risk through community public health activities, the promotion of personal preparedness, and enhanced response capabilities.
Volunteers of RI MRC have opportunities to participate in preparedness training, field hospital operations and other public health activities.
Take your training to the next level and become a volunteer with RI MRC to help your community when disaster strikes.
For those volunteers interested in veterinary-focused emergency response and non-emergency public health events
The Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps (RI VMRC) plays a crucial role in enhancing community resilience and response during emergencies by mobilizing veterinary professionals and animal enthusiasts. With a primary focus on volunteer participation, the RI VMRC is particularly instrumental in providing emergency pet sheltering support, ensuring the well-being of animals during crises. Volunteers within this organization receive specialized training to address the unique needs of animals in disaster situations, including setting up and managing emergency shelters for pets. Moreover, the RI VMRC actively engages in community training programs, equipping both veterinary professionals and the general public with the necessary skills to respond effectively to emergencies involving animals. By fostering collaboration and preparedness, the Rhode Island Veterinary Medical Reserve Corps contributes significantly to the overall safety and welfare of both pets and their owners in times of crisis.
For Youths aged 14-17 years of age interested in medical or emergency response careers.
The Rhode Island Junior Medical Reserve Corps (RI JMRC) serves as a dynamic platform for young volunteers aged 14-17 who harbor an interest in pursuing future careers in the medical field, emergency management, or first responder professions. This youth-focused initiative not only encourages civic engagement but also provides invaluable opportunities for personal and professional development. Volunteers within the RI JMRC are offered scholarship and mentoring opportunities, enabling them to explore and cultivate their interests in the healthcare and emergency response sectors. In addition to gaining valuable knowledge and skills, members of the RI JMRC can fulfill their community service requirements for graduation, further emphasizing the program's commitment to nurturing responsible and engaged young citizens. By instilling a sense of responsibility and preparedness, the RI JMRC not only contributes to the community's well-being but also shapes the next generation of healthcare and emergency management professionals.
For those volunteers interested in providing emergency behavioral health support and/or community and school based mental health education.
The Rhode Island Behavioral Health Medical Reserve Corps (RI BHMRC) stands at the forefront of community-based mental health education and emergency behavioral health support during crises. Comprising dedicated volunteers, this corps plays a pivotal role in fostering mental health awareness and providing vital support during challenging times. One notable component is the Trauma Response Team, a highly trained group of behavioral healthcare professionals and support staff available 24/7 to respond to Rhode Island communities facing traumatic situations. Within the RI BHMRC framework, the Therapy K9 Team and the Peer Support Unit operate as essential sub-teams, offering unique and specialized assistance. The Therapy K9 Team leverages the healing power of therapy dogs to provide comfort and emotional support, while the Peer Support Unit facilitates a volunteer-based network for individuals to connect through shared experiences. Through these comprehensive efforts, the RI BHMRC not only addresses immediate behavioral health needs during crises but also fosters resilience and community support for long-term mental well-being.
For those only interested in volunteering during emergency situations.
The Statewide Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Rhode Island (SERV-RI), is an online registry created to identify and pre-credential healthcare providers who are licensed in Rhode Island prior to a large-scale disaster or public health emergency.
SERV-RI volunteers could be called upon in the instance of a public health or disaster emergency to assist with surge capacity issues and be available to the public health and emergency management agencies of Rhode Island to supplement existing volunteer response organizations like RI MRC, among others.
When you register with SERV-RI, you join fellow Rhode Islanders interested in becoming involved when help is needed most.
Trained disaster behavioral health volunteers who may be deployed to provide an organized, supportive response to those affected by critical incidents or disasters.
The Rhode Island Disaster Behavioral Health Response Team (DBHRT) is comprised of trained disaster behavioral health volunteers who may be deployed to provide an organized, supportive response to individual victims, family members, survivors and other responders affected by critical incidents or disasters. This cadre may be activated to work in conjunction with traditionally identified first responders and others within the incident command structure.
DBHRT members may be deployed to settings such as emergency shelters, disaster sites, schools or medical facilities. They may also engage in outreach and educational activities in affected communities to promote the resiliency and recovery of those impacted by a traumatic event. The DBHRT may respond statewide when local behavioral health resources have been depleted or are overwhelmed.