Medical Reserve Corps offers volunteer training to Rider Students

By Thalia Rose

The past few years have been plagued with pandemics and medical headaches that have forced many into isolation and put great limitations on everyday lives. The Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is a program offered at Rider this spring to give individuals the training they need to help end isolation and get life back on track. 

As a collaboration with Mercer County Community College, MRC is available to all Rider students, staff, faculty and even Lawrenceville neighbors who wish to get medical training to aid in volunteering.

The program came to Rider through Joan Liptrot, the director of Services and Civic Engagement.

Liptrot explained, “I had met someone from state emergency management at Mercer County, and we had worked together in the past in a similar setting, and so when we reconnected we began chatting, and that led to them telling me about the program and how we could do MRC here at Rider.”

 This spring will be the program’s fourth year at Rider, and it will last for eight weeks beginning Feb. 17 and ending April 7. The program will take place on the Fridays of those eight weeks from 1:30-3 p.m., and all sessions must be completed in order for participants to earn the certificate at the end.

This year’s program is especially exciting because training for Naloxone, a drug that’s typically used to treat opioid overdoses, will be added. Additional training in personal and family preparedness, disaster preparedness, psychological first aid, incident command system and chemical radioactive biological and nuclear explosions training will be provided. 

This training doesn’t only apply to the Lawrenceville area. If someone decides to move to another county or state, their certifications will still be useful so long as they notify the correct departments. 

A program like this helps to create qualified and experienced volunteers. This need can be traced all the way back to events like 9/11 and Hurricane Katrina, when volunteers showed up and medical professionals were working to both complete their job and teach the volunteers what to do. The MRC was created to help bridge this gap and ensure that civilians can get necessary training in case an emergency arises.

After participants earn their certificate, their name is put into a system so that whenever the need for a volunteer arises, emails will be sent to them inquiring about their availability. 

Matthew Swinehart, a senior accounting major, helped to facilitate the MRC while Rider was fully virtual and during its first spring semester back in person.

“Being virtual presented challenges with interaction. … It was a lot more hands-on in person and helped with interaction both inside and outside the classroom,” said Swinehart.

When asked about how he got involved in the program, Swinehart said “I heard from Joan that my background working for the health department makes me a good person to lead the program, and being a Bonner already made me interested in doing it.”

Participants of the program can also earn engaged learning points this spring.

To sign up for this program:

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