Vashon Medical Reserve Corps

Thank you (!) for your interest in our islands' medical reserve.

Click here to watch our short video

about the Vashon Medical Reserve Corps

Come meet with us.  We meet monthly on the 3rd Thursday at 3 p.m. for 1 hour.  Location is the Vashon Island Fire & Rescue (VIFR) Building conference room:  10020 SW Banks Road.

Send us an email.

  • John Osborn MD
  • Ina Oppliger MD
  • Clayton Olney DO


Who we are.  Our team includes clinicians and nurses, counselors and chaplains, pharmacists, veterinarians, funeral home staff, administrative support staff, and others.   We organize ourselves using an ER team as a model - from initial encounter and triage, hands-on care and mental health support, to medication management.

MRCs rose from the rubble of the 9-11 attacks, recognizing the need for health-care professionals to prepare for disasters. The MRC is a partner program of Citizen Corps, a national network of volunteers dedicated to ensuring hometown security. Citizen Corps, along with the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Peace Corps, are part of the President's USA Freedom Corps.  

Why an MRC?  We choose to live an island in the Salish Sea, part of the Pacific Ocean's Ring of Fire.  Running below ground are major fault lines.  Above are sleeping volcanoes, symbols of our state.  Disasters have occurred here, such as the massive Cascadia earthquake in 1700.  Our island home has a history of being socked by storms and scorched by fire.  Climate change raises the ante.  Medical historians can recount past pestilence, prologue to future threats.

Today about 12,000 people live on Vashon-Maury Island.  Homes are built on, or below unstable slopes prone to landslide.  Look around and you'll see an aging population some of whom can be expected to have multiple medical problems on multiple medications.

On this island, we have no urgent care and no emergency room.  We have a single pharmacy without a stockpile of medications.  For these reasons and more, we as a health-care professionals will need to be able to secure our homes and family, and then meet to provide emergency care for our island community.

Our mission in 3 parts:

  1. Training
  2. Medical support to VIFR
  3. Put in place medical care "surge capacity" for disasters, both local and regional

When the emergency call comes:

We will report to Vashon Island Fire & Rescue, our MRC's sponsoring agency.  We will also be working closely with paramedics of Medic One on Vashon and BLS providers of VIFR.  Just like an ER team, we'll need to be able to do provide basics of triage, treat and support, and transfer when appropriate and when we can.

We are not alone:

Our MRC's housing agency and fiscal agent is VashonBePrepared.   Our MRC is one rope in a safety net woven and supported by VashonBePrepared through the island's multiple volunteers.  Included are:

EOC – Emergency Operations Center

CERT -  Community Emergency Response Team

MERT – Marine Emergency Response Team

ACS – Auxillary Communications Service

NERO – Neighborhood Emergency Response Organization

Thank you for your interest. 

Please join us.

Volunteer with the Vashon MRC

You can become a member of the Vashon MRC in four steps:

  1. Application
  2. Orientation
  3. Two on-line courses with certificates of completion
  4. WaServe profile


As health care professionals, we all undergo credentialing.  For our MRC, credentialing is done through King County Public Health.  Recognizing the staffing time that goes into this process, we are deeply appreciative of King County Public Health’s support in providing this HR service.

For more on this 4-step process, with links and contacts, click on Join the Vashon MRC.  If you have questions or run into problems, then contact us at

Medical Reserve Corps

Vashon Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is modeled on the national MRC program and was formed to provide care for members of our community in case of any disaster that would overwhelm the resources of the fire department and clinics, and very likely isolate us by interruption of ferry service.

We are a part of the VashonBePrepared coalition, and support Vashon Island Fire & Rescue during any incidents. Our group includes medical professionals, such as MD, RN, NP Paramedics, EMTs,MA, DVM, and counselors.

When the Island is cut off during an earthquake or other disaster we need to be trained to step in and help in a planned manner. You can be part of that team-whether you're licensed, retired or just interested: we can help you help your neighbors!

Join us, it's interesting, it's fun and it's important! Active member requirements are being developed but will likely include periodic training (some with continuing education credits) and an occasional drill. Training may cover topics such as:

  • setting up and running a temporary field hospital,
  • a medication center and
  • other emergency operations.
The MRC also helps with funds for equipment, training and liability coverage while you volunteer. Contact us to learn more or find a way you can participate.

Child Pages





Conference 2019Conference 2019

Conference 2019

Islands of the Salish Sea - Preparing for Disasters






Strategic Plan

Vashon Island may face natural environmental or terrorist disaster or other public health emergencies and, as an island reachable only by ferry, could be isolated from mainland  emergency resources.  In recognition of the need to prepare for, respond to and recover from such disasters and emergencies the Vashon Medical Reserve Corp:

  • Motivates and educates our volunteers and citizens to be as self- reliant as possible during a disaster through advance planning and preparation.
  • Forms partnerships with Island institutions, medical institutions and facilities, and volunteer groups to help create a structure capable of responding to a disaster or medical emergencies.
  • Develops and maintains Island-wide disaster plans and procedures in collaboration with Vashon Island Fire and Rescue (King County Fire District 13) and Public Health Seattle and King County.
  • Recruits, organizes, and trains volunteer staff for an Island Emergency Operations Center ( the EOC Team) and to staff alternative care facilities, utilizing the principles of the National Incident Management System in collaboration with Vashon Island Fire and Rescue and Public Health Seattle and King County
  • Raises and manages funds and property in support of all these organizational purposes.

MRC Promotional Videos

Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) promotional videos

NACCHO has numerous resources of use to Medical Reserve Corps Units across the country.

They also have developed two videos to spread the word about the work of the MRC in communities across the country! The first video is a short promotion that can be used to recruit volunteers and is suitable for local TV networks. The second video is a longer overview about the scope of the MRC's volunteer activities and is great to share with your community's political and business leaders, partners, and stakeholders. Learn more about Medical Reserve Corps units throughout the U.S.

About the Medical Reserve Corps (1 min/1 sec.)

About the Medical Reserve Corps (6 min/45 sec.)