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For Release: April 18, 2012 – Larry Weatherford, Office of Communications – 405/271-5601

State Health Department Activates Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps to Support Storm Recovery Efforts in Woodward

Medical volunteers from the Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps have been deployed to provide storm recovery assistance in Woodward.

“Our volunteers are supporting the recovery by providing assistance to residents cleaning up after the storm,” said Scott Sproat, chief of the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Emergency Preparedness and Response Service. “Many of these volunteers are providing tetanus shots, basic first aid and mental health services if needed.”

State health officials continue to urge caution as persons pick through storm debris. Everyone involved in clean up should wear proper clothing, heavy boots and gloves.  Tetanus shots are recommended for anyone who hasn’t had a tetanus booster within the last 10 years. Woodward County Health Department staff provided approximately 270 vaccinations through Monday.

Thus far about 86 storm-related injuries have been reported statewide, with six fatalities.

The Oklahoma Medical Reserve Corps (OKMRC) is one of Oklahoma’s growing volunteer organizations.  It is an organization of medical and non-medical volunteers who contribute their skills and expertise during times of community need, such as disasters and emergencies. The OKMRC has responded to declared disasters in Oklahoma since 2004.

OKMRC volunteers are involved in a variety of activities including outreach and prevention, immunization programs, blood drives, case management, care planning and emergency response. Volunteers also participate in training, which includes learning local emergency and health procedures, trauma response techniques, teamwork and use of specialized equipment.

For more storm recovery information, visit the Coping After The Storm section of the OSDH website at www.health.ok.gov.  For more information about how to join your local Medical Reserve Corps unit, please visit www.okmrc.org.

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