Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps

Members of the Maryland Responds Medical Reserve Corps assist in responding to various emergencies involving animals. Emergencies are any situation which affects animals and is of a large enough scale to overwhelm the local ability to respond. For example, the Corps may be called to respond to an infectious disease outbreak. Whenever utilized members would become temporary State of Maryland employees and though not paid for their time, they would be covered by the State Tort acts for liability and for workman's compensation if injured on the job.

In addition to animal disease outbreaks, the Corps may have the opportunity to voluntarily respond to environmental disasters such as floods, fires, tornados and blizzards or other disasters such as radiological contamination or chemical spills.

Members may assist with animal care and treatment, evacuation, vaccination, specimen collection, decontamination, euthanasia, necropsy, collecting epidemiological information, supervisory or office support. Members may also be asked if the law allows at the time and the veterinarian is willing to provide some medical services to human patients such as vaccine administration.

Who Can Join the Maryland Respond Medical Reserve Corps?
Veterinarians, veterinary students, veterinary technicians, assistants and students who are willing to respond to emergencies involving animals make up the Corps.

Where would I respond?
The Maryland Respond Medical Reserves Corps will be activated for emergencies within Maryland. If we are requested under the Emergency Management Assistance Compact (EMAC) by another state for veterinary corp resources you could be asked to serve in another state. If that occurs all your expenses will be paid.

When would I respond to an emergency? Your participation in any emergency is strictly voluntary. Belonging to the Corps means that we have your contact information and can rapidly ask you if you can help.

What are some examples of what Maryland Respond Medical Reserves Corps members would do during a disaster?

 Duties may include but are not necessarily limited to all on the list nor would one individual do all the duties listed each time they are activated:  

  1. Provide veterinary medical and/or surgical services to injured or sick animals during disasters if these services cannot be provided by the normal veterinary infrastructure.
  2. Operate a Mobile Laboratory
  3. Obtain diagnostic samples from infected, exposed, or farms within surveillance circles.
  4. Supervise or perform cleaning and operations.
  5. Perform euthanasia on individual animals or by working as part of depopulation/euthanasia teams- AVMA Euthanasia Guidelines will be followed
  6. Supervise disposal of dead animals or work on carcass disposal teams
  7. Assist with inventory and appraisal duties for livestock and poultry destroyed due to disease; assist with agriculture damage and needs assessments in response and recovery operations.
  8. Be source of scientific and safety information on diseases, and animal issues during emergencies, outbreaks, and disasters to whoever requests information
  9. Augment regulatory personnel in the performance of their regular program duties that become secondary missions in an emergency response effort. Examples: Johnes, CEM, BRT, Pullorum, AI, programs- Perform USDA APHIS accredited disease control duties (Backfill mission)
  10. Coordinate/ issue dispensing to responders of supplies, medication, and equipment such as emergency clothing, boots, and other items required to respond to the event
  11. Provide communications link and liaison between what is occurring in the field and appropriate officials
  12. Assist in disease contacts trace outs and tracebacks
  13. Implement and follow predetermined biosecurity measures
  14. Provide training to those in need in area where you have the expertise
  15. Vaccinate animals
  16. Vaccinate and provide medical care to humans if covered for liability, requested to do so by public health officials and you are willing and comfortable to do so
  17. Triage Duties
  18. Dispensing, counseling, screening of drug interactions.
  What training do 
Maryland Respond Medical Reserve Corps members need ?
To be better prepared and trained and be properly credentialed to respond to disasters  in Maryland there are certain disaster oriented courses that members of the volunteer veterinary/registered animal technicians corps need to complete. These courses/training are offered free on-line by the Emergency Management Institute (EMI) of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) in Emmittsburg MD. To access the courses offered on-line go to: , then click on ISP Course list for Animals in Disasters courses and NIMS Courses for ICS, NIMS and NRP courses. You can then click on the course you wish to take and follow the instructions. As you complete the course and receive your certificate of completion, please forward a copy to me A.S.A.P. and the State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners (at time of license renewal) at the addresses below so we may have it for your record for credentialing and continuing education purposes.

Each course is worth so many CEU credits. A 1 CEU credit course should take 10 hrs to complete whereas 0.3 CEU credit course should take 3 hrs to complete. Upon completing the course you take an examination on line. When you pass the examination, you
 will receive credit for completing the course by mail. The Maryland State Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners has agreed to award continuing education credits toward license renewal compatible with the number of hours it should take you to complete the course to members of the Maryland Animal Health Emergency Volunteer Corps who present to them the documentation of course completion they receive from EMI. When taking the course you can take it at any time that suits your schedule, and return to it as often as necessary to complete the work.

The courses we initially would like you to take and the number of CEU credits for each are:

  • IS 10- Animals in Disasters- Module A -- Awareness and Preparedness - 1 CEU
  • IS 11- Animals in Disasters- Module B- Community Planning- 1 CEU
  • IS 111- Livestock in Disasters- 1 CEU
  • *IS 800- National Response Plan - An Introduction- 0.3 CEU
  • *IS 700- National Incident Management System- (NIMS) An Introduction- 0.3 CEU
  • *IS 100- Introduction to Incident Command System- 0.3 CEU
  • *IS 200- Incident Command System- Basic- 0.3 CEU

    (The courses with the * are required ones)

 Why should I join?
This is a unique opportunity to gain a different perspective and experience in veterinary medicine. The State of Maryland needs your help to be able to deal effectively with a large scale animal emergency. The experience you gain may be helpful to your career. As a member of the Corps, you will be provided training sessions to recognize and report suspect Foreign Animal Diseases and to prepare you to respond to emergencies.

How do I join? 

Please click here to register for Maryland Respond Medical Reserve Corps​