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New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps

Photo of emergency personnel treating knee injury.

Our mission is to augment local community health and medical services during a disaster, public health emergency or community public health event with pre-identified, trained and credentialed volunteers.

The New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is made up of medical and non-medical volunteers from around the state who serve to help their fellow citizens in time of need. Currently, the MRC has over 2000 registered volunteers who help the Department of Health. These volunteers are the backbone of volunteer organizations of our state.

Photo of MRC Tent and volunteers at event. Recently, the MRC provided support to participants of the Bataan Death March, a grueling 26.2 miles full marathon hosted each year at White Sands Missile Range near Alamogordo. Volunteers in the MRC, in partnership with the US Military, provided initial medical assessments, basic health care and first aid to numerous participants in the Death March reenactment.

Additionally, the MRC responded in Las Cruces to provide assistance to migrants who have sought asylum in the United States. Migrants are temporarily housed in shelters provided by volunteer organizations and charities in Las Cruces and Albuquerque. The MRC continues to support this effort.

Interested in becoming an MRC volunteer? Please go to Medical Reserve Corps Serves.


Since August 2005, the Bureau of Health Emergency Management has taken considerable steps to assure that New Mexico will have a stable and dedicated group of healthcare professionals available for possible deployment in the event of a public health emergency in New Mexico or in another part of the country.

The MRC here in New Mexico is part of a national network of local groups of volunteers committed to improving the health, safety, and resiliency of their communities. There are several MRC units dispersed in communities throughout New Mexico. These units are made up of hundreds of volunteers. However, in a state as large as New Mexico, every volunteer is becomes a valuable asset. Your commitment to volunteering with the MRC can make a huge impact.

The NM MRC Serves database, New Mexico’s statewide registry of pre-credentialed, volunteer healthcare professionals, allows the MRC to register its volunteers, ensuring all volunteers are pre-credentialed and pre-trained.

Photo of a group of NM MRC staff while on a pilgrimage. Photo of three men in camouflage in military medical tent.



NM MRC Serves volunteers are an important asset for maintaining our communities’ health and for responding to health related emergencies. Volunteer support is needed for community activities such as mass immunization events and health screenings. Volunteers are also needed for emergency preparedness events such as exercises which help develop a community’s ability to prepare for, respond to and recovery from an emergency or disaster.

NM MRC Serves is looking for volunteers with varying skill levels and experience. We are currently recruiting to following licensed healthcare providers as well as lay and non-healthcare volunteers.

Please see our Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Handbook and read below to learn more.

Licensed Healthcare Providers

Volunteers needed include clinical social workers; dentists; EMTs/paramedics; laboratory technologists and technicians; marriage and family therapists; medical records and health information technicians; mental health counselors; nurses; nurses aides; pharmacists; physicians; physician assistants; psychologists; radiologic technologists and technicians; respiratory therapists; and veterinarians.

The US Department of Health and Human Services Emergency Systems for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) program has identified the following priority professions to be included in the registry of volunteer healthcare professionals’ databases.

If a decision is made to request your service, you will be contacted using the information you provided during the registration process. If you agree to deploy, your information will be forwarded to the appropriate emergency management officials. Remember, you have the right to refuse any deployment request.

Lay & Non-Healthcare Volunteers

In addition to licensed healthcare volunteers, NM MRC Serves also needs people with various skills and experience. Volunteers could be called upon to help staff mass immunization centers, participate in emergency preparedness/response/recovery exercises, assist at community health fairs, support sheltering operations and provide many other services that are critical to a quick and effective response during emergencies and disasters.

If a decision is made to request your service, you will be contacted using the information you entered when you registered with in the NM MRC Serves database. If you agree to deploy, your information will be forwarded to the appropriate emergency management officials. Remember, you have the right to refuse any deployment request.

Volunteers from the following occupational groups are encouraged to register.

  • Administration/Management
  • Agriculture
  • Armed Forces/Military
  • Automotive
  • Aviation
  • Banking/Finance
  • Communications
  • Construction
  • Education/Kindergarten – High School
  • Education/College or University
  • Entertainment
  • Facility Support or Management
  • Fire Fighter
  • Government Services
  • Healthcare Administration/Support
  • Hotel/Guest Services
  • Interpretive Services (American Sign Language, etc.)
  • Insurance
  • Law Enforcement
  • Language Services
  • Manufacturing
  • Mortuary Services
  • News Media/Advertising/Public Relations
  • Non-profit
  • Pharmaceuticals
  • Publication
  • Restaurant/Catering
  • Retired (please list former occupation)
  • Sales – Retail
  • Sales – Wholesale
  • Science (life)
  • Science (earth)
  • Science (physics)
  • Student
  • Transportation (ground, including bus driver, taxi, etc.)
  • Transportation (distribution, including truck driver, etc.)
  • Warehouse Services/Support


It is our hope that you will register with NM MRC Serves, to volunteer your time and expertise to prepare for and respond to emergencies here in New Mexico. We encourage all to register! Whether you are a healthcare professional or a lay volunteer, you will have the ability to assist New Mexico, or another state, in response to a disaster.

Please join the New Mexico Medical Reserve Corps Serves team. As you register through NM MRC Serves, you will be prompted through the on-line application.

In order to be credentialed for deployment, you will be instructed on how to submit background information relating to your professional licensure.

Please read the following helpful registration tips.

  • NM MRC Serves will verify the status of reported licenses and/or certifications.
  • Criminal background checks will be performed on all volunteers.
  • Under Federal and State Laws/Guidelines a medical or healthcare professional volunteer must not have a sanctioned license and/or practice under a board order.
  • Individuals whose name appears on the US Department of Health and Human Services Office of the Inspector General’s List of Excluded Individuals/Entities will be excluded from volunteering.
  • Gather all your available licenses, certifications, competencies, training, contact and other personal information before beginning the registration process.
  • Registration should take less than 30 minutes.
  • Required fields are designated with an asterisk (*). If required information has not been entered, you will be alerted during the registration process.
  • For security purposes, during the registration process all communications are encrypted and you will be logged out automatically if you are inactive on the site for more than 15 minutes.
  • Please do not use the refresh, stop, back or forward buttons on the browser and only single click buttons on a page.


Deployment to an emergency or disaster site where there is limited resources and physical hardships may be more difficult for some than others. Please consider the following before agreeing to be deployed for a volunteer assignment.

Pre-Deployment Considerations

Remember that while you may not be able to deploy to an emergency or disaster site there may be ancillary support functions you could perform away from the site.

  • Do you have children or adult dependents? Will you be able to arrange for their care while you are gone? Can these arrangements be easily extended if your assignment runs longer than anticipated?
  • Do you have pets? Will you be able to arrange for their care while you are gone? Can these arrangements be easily extended if your assignment runs longer than anticipated?
  • Is there someone who can take care of your home while you are gone (take in the mail and newspapers)? Are your bills (utilities, rent) paid and up-to-date?
  • Are you taking any prescriptions that may impact your ability to be function in an emergency or disaster situation such as causing drowsiness? Does your medication require strict administration times or need refrigeration?
  • Do you have a health condition such as significant mobility concerns or heart condition that would prohibit your participation? Do you have difficulty bending or stooping? Can you sit or stand for extended periods of time?
  • Do you have allergies to medications, foods or insect bites?
  • Do you have a medical condition such as asthma or diabetes which could worsen due to the difficult conditions at an emergency or disaster site?
  • Do you have a psychological condition such as anxiety disorder or depression which may prohibit your participation in a disaster response?
  • Have you had a recent emotional or psychological event which would make you unable to participate effectively in a disaster response?
  • Do you have special dietary requirements which you may not be able to follow while at an emergency or disaster site?
  • Are there any other concerns that would make you unable to participate effectively in an emergency or disaster response at this time?

Packing List for Deployment


Following this list helps ensure that all deployed volunteers are self-sufficient and able to take care of their needs. The basic rule is 2-3-4. This means that each volunteer should deploy with 2 bags, 3 days of food and 4 quarts of water. The list includes not only minimally required items, but others to help one travel and live more comfortably during the span of assignment.

The two bags should be packed so that one is checked and one is a carryon. Never count on the checked bag arriving with you. Keep everything you will need in your carry on including meds, change of clothes, identification, flight and deployment information, and communication devices. Clothing should be chosen according to the weather and temperature, as well as for protection from the work environment.

Please ensure that your luggage remains within the required weights. As of July 1, 2008, most commercial airlines are not accepting checked luggage over 50 lbs. Each airline company has specific rules about carryon luggage. Please check with the airline company you are travelling with for their specific luggage requirements prior to travelling.

Please see our Medical Reserve Corps Packing List for Deployment for the list of items.

Deployment Procedure


The Medical Reserve Corps Volunteer Deployment Plan Standard Operating Guide (SOG) has been developed for the NM MRC Serves registry – the New Mexico Department of Health’s (NMDOH) Statewide Emergency Systems for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) compliant volunteer registry.

This SOG outlines the deployment procedures that occur before, during and after a public health emergency/disaster or in support of a public health initiative (i.e., administering flu vaccine).

The ESAR-VHP program is guided by five fundamental objectives to ensure the proper development and operation of each ESAR-VHP system. These objectives are as follows.

  1. Recruit and register medical and non-medical volunteers.
  2. Apply ESAR-VHP emergency credentialing standards to registered volunteers.
  3. Allow for the verification of the identity, credentials and qualifications of registered volunteers prior to an emergency or disaster.
  4. Automatically notify and confirm the availability of registered health care professionals and lay volunteers at the beginning of an emergency/disaster event.
  5. Provide deployment information to available volunteers and track/document their service from deployment through demobilization.

This SOG provides the processes and protocols to address these fundamental goals and objectives. Additionally, it outlines roles and responsibilities for NM MRC Serves registry staff to implement preparedness initiatives for volunteers to better prepare themselves and their families in the event of deployment.