Within minutes of the alert being sent out via the KHELPS network Saturday, the phones of members of Lincoln County Medical Reserve Corps began to ring and e-mails hit inboxes throughout Lincoln and Garrard counties.
The message was simple: Kentucky was going to receive up to 5,000 Hurricane Gustav evacuees, many with special needs, and volunteers were needed to man shelters in Louisville, Lexington, Bowling Green and Owensboro.
Kentucky Health Emergency Listing of Professionals for Surge was established to "register, notify and inform individuals who are interested in volunteering in the event of an accidental or intentional emergency, or other public or health care disaster." All members of the Lincoln County Medical Reserve Corps are registered with KHELPS.
Less than six months old, the Lincoln MRC still is in its initial recruiting and training phase, but there was a good response from volunteers to fill critical billets for everything from bilingual nurses to pharmacists. With the broad mission of helping man shelters, checking on elderly and shut-ins, and conducting surveys, MRC members were a good fit to augment the shelters being established across the commonwealth.