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The Telegram
  • Public Health looking for emergency volunteers

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  • HERKIMER — Herkimer County Public Health is actively looking for volunteers to help with future emergency response events.
    This past summer, due to severe flooding the community endured during June and July, the public health office, with the help of statewide volunteers, administered Tdap shots to affected community members.
    By its nature, a disaster often overwhelms a community’s ability to provide appropriate care to victims. Often, volunteers are needed to extend the community capacity, including the capacity of hospitals to respond to a disaster.
    In the case of volunteers who provide medical or mental health care, it’s essential they have the proper credentials and skills to treat people affected by the emergency.
    The ServNY volunteer management system, administered by the department of the Office of Health Emergency Preparedness, is a Web-based registry of the individuals who make themselves available to assist on behalf of New York state during an emergency. Currently, over 9,000 people have volunteered to help across the state when needed.
    Licensed health care professionals willing to respond to a disaster - either locally, statewide or across the nation - are encouraged to register with ServNY.
    Registering before the need arises is important as credentials are verified upon registration and periodically thereafter. This helps to ensure when a community needs extra hands those hands are qualified to provide the appropriate care.
    When volunteers are needed, ServNY will automatically notify potential volunteers via phone or email with the information necessary for a volunteer to determine if they are ready and available for an assignment.
    OHEP developed ServNY volunteer registry in partnership with county health departments, the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, the Medical Society of the State of New York, hospital association and other medical professional organizations.
    Registration in ServNY is open to any health care or mental health professional and laypersons willing to serve in administrative or support roles during public health emergencies. To register, go to http://www.nyhealth.gov/servny?prog=27. Any questions, contact the Herkimer County Volunteer Coordinator Diane Ward, RN, at 867-1610 or by email at dward@herkimercounty.org.
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