Thomas Jefferson Health District Medical Reserve Corps, Virginia Department of Emergency Management Partner to Train Disaster Volunteers to Aid Residents with Disabilities

January 25, 2017  //  

RICHMOND, Va. (Jan. 25, 2017) – The Thomas Jefferson, Central Shenandoah, and Lord Fairfax Units of the Virginia Medical Reserve Corps (VAMRC) are recruiting medical and non-medical professionals and volunteers in the Charlottesville, Staunton, and Winchester areas to provide care to residents with disabilities and access needs during disasters.

Some 18,000 residents in the Thomas Jefferson Health District(including Charlottesville, Albemarle, Nelson, Fluvanna, and Greene), and several thousand more in the Lord Fairfax and Central Shenandoah Health Districts have disabilities and would need non-medical personal care and assistance for activities of daily living in emergency shelters. The Thomas Jefferson Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) have partnered to train local volunteers across the Health District to assist this population in an emergency.

Nursing students, personal care assistants (PCAs), registered nurses (RNs), licensed practical nurses (LPNs), occupational and physical therapists, hospice volunteers, and others with training and experience in providing personal care assistance interested in volunteering during a disaster will receive training to join Virginia’s Functional and Access Needs Support (FANS) Team.

“Having a force of trained, response-ready volunteers is a critical component of disaster recovery, especially in assisting those with functional and access needs. With winter approaching and Virginia’s recovery from Hurricane Matthew ongoing, preparedness is a top priority for us, and we are actively recruiting for our FANS team,” said Chris Rini, MRC coordinator for the Thomas Jefferson Health District.

Dawn Brantley, sheltering coordinator for VDEM, is conducting the training program which she first created as an emergency manager in Anchorage, Alaska. “I am excited to help the MRC build these teams in Virginia. Being able to provide this assistance in shelters will go a long way to ensuring the shelters in Virginia are equally accessible to all survivors.”

There will be three trainings in February, each split over two days. Attendance at both days of the training is mandatory. For more information on the FANS Team program and to register for a training event, go to

WHAT: Virginia Functional Access Needs Support (FANS) Team Training

WHO: Virginia Department of Emergency Management (VDEM) & Virginia Department of Health Thomas Jefferson Medical Reserve Corps


Dates & Times


Thomas Jefferson Health District Tue, Feb 7th, 6-8:30 pm
Thu, Feb 9th, 6-8:30 pm
Charlottesville/Albemarle Health Department (use entrance #3)
1138 Rose Hill Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22903
Central Shenandoah Health District Wed, Feb 15th, 6-8:30 pm
Sat, Feb 18th 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Staunton Health Department
1414 N. Augusta St., Staunton, VA 24402
Lord Fairfax Health District Wed, Feb 22nd, 6 pm-8:30 pm
Sat, Feb 25th 9:30 am-12:30 pm
Frederick-Winchester Health Department
10 Baker Street, Winchester, VA 22601

Photo, video and interview opportunities will be available.

Be ready. Be willing to help.

Virginia Disaster Relief Fund