Although the Valley Fire in Lake County is now 90 percent contained, thousands of people left homeless due to the fire are still in need of help. The Stanislaus County Medical Reserve Corps has deployed several volunteers to assist local officials with getting fire victims the resources they need.
The Valley Fire has destroyed close to 2,000 structures and officials are estimating that the fire has left roughly 3,000 people homeless. To address this devastation, emergency management officials have reached out to counties across the region to request aid and assistance during the long process of disaster recovery.
On Thursday, five individuals with the Stanislaus County Medical Reserve Corps were deployed to Lake County to take part In phone hotline operations that will assist affected residents with grief counseling and connecting them with the resources to help them in the disaster recovery process. The hotline will also be assisting officials in documenting damaged locations by phone.
"Our thoughts are with the citizens of Lake County that have been overwhelmed by this event and we are honored to be able to provide specialized services to those In need through our committed volunteers," said Mary Ann Lee, Stanislaus County Health Services Agency managing director.
SCMRC volunteers will be working 12 hour shifts through the weekend, and are expected to return to Stanislaus County by Tuesday.
The Stanislaus County Medical Reserve Corps is part of a national network of volunteers, organized locally to improve the health and safety of their communities. The MRC network comprises 996 community-based units and over 200,000 volunteers located throughout the United States and its territories.
MRC volunteers include medical and public health professionals, as well as other community members without healthcare backgrounds. MRC units engage these volunteers to strengthen public health improve emergency response capabilities and build community resiliency. They prepare for and respond to natural disasters, as well as other emergencies affecting public health, such as disease outbreaks. They frequently contribute to community health activities that promote healthy habits.