Vermont Emergency Response Volunteers (VERV) Ready to Serve

Sign up for VERV During National Public Health Week April 5-9

For Immediate Release:  April 6, 2010
Media Contact: Communication Office
Vermont Department of Health

BURLINGTON – In anticipation of the need to vaccinate many thousands of Vermonters against the novel H1N1 flu last fall, the Vermont Department of Health recruited more than 700 volunteers into the Vermont Emergency Response Volunteers (VERV) Registry System.

“Vermonters are renowned for helping each other during challenging times, and we had never faced a flu season before like the H1N1 outbreak,” said Health Commissioner Wendy Davis, MD. “Now we have a ready reserve of volunteers to fill essential roles when they are needed...and there's always room for more.”

VERV is an online registry that serves a network of volunteers who are ready and willing to assist with public health events and emergency response. Volunteers can sign up to work with district health department staff and other volunteer organizations. The VERV Registry System collects volunteer’s contact information, as well as information about their specialized training and skills – and can send alerts to volunteers when they are needed.

Volunteers can choose how they wish to be involved. Many VERV volunteers are medical professionals who will serve their local hospital, and others have a variety of skills and abilities to serve in other capacities. Volunteers are trained to be a part of an emergency response team – performing critically needed jobs, such as supporting the operation of mass clinics, helping patients get the help they need right away, or assisting with emergency food delivery.

“In the Morrisville District Office, we were fortunate enough to work with some very enthusiastic and professional VERV nurses (during the H1N1 outbreak),” said Valerie Valcour, a public health nurse supervisor for the Health Department. “They all were eager to participate and help out how ever they could. I found them to be very generous.”

Some groups require a certain amount of training each year, while other groups will be provided with “just-in-time” training. When they are needed, volunteers are notified when and where to report. The VERV system will work in coordination with other volunteer organizations, such as the American Red Cross, to assure the best use of the skills of people who want to help.

To sign up for VERV visit: http://healthvermont.gov/emerg/verv/index.html

You can also follow us on Twitter at http://twitter.com/healthvermont.

For more information on National Public Health Week “A Healthier America, One Community at a Time” visit: www.nphw.org.

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