RespondDE logo

About RespondDE

RespondDE is sponsored by the Delaware Division of Public Health and is a volunteer corps comprised of dedicated medical professionals, mental health professionals and non-medical professionals who give their time and expertise to prepare for and respond to public health emergencies. Volunteers also participate in health promotion and education in local communities. RespondDE has three county units (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex counties) and provides the structure necessary to pre-identify, pre-credential, pre-train, and activate volunteers in a timely matter.

RespondDE is sponsored by the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) which have contracted with the University of Delaware School of Nursing to coordinate Delaware’s three county units (New Castle, Kent, and Sussex Counties) and Delaware’s Behavioral and Emotional Support Team (DE BEST).

The National Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) Movement began after September 11, 2001 when there was difficulty managing the thousands of spontaneous volunteers as Americans across the country asked “What can I do to help?” The answer was developed in the month following 9/11 and the MRC concept was born. It exists to pre-identify, pre-train and pre-credential volunteers for national emergencies and public health special events. Learn more about MRC History (Click here).

The national MRC program partners with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Citizen Corp and is headquartered in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

RespondDE was started in 2006. It is housed in the Delaware Division of Public Health. It serves to supplement existing medical and public health staff. In 2013, three county-based units were established in the state, including New Castle, Sussex, and Kent. The DE BEST serves to supplement existing DSAMH mental health and supporting staff statewide.

Click here to learn more about DE BEST.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who can join a RespondDE unit?

A: Anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in supporting public health can join, regardless if they are medical or non-medical. This includes professionals from all of the health occupations. All Delaware MRC units have non-medical volunteers who provide education, logistics, communication, coordination and other support. Many positions in the MRC do not require medical skills.


Q: Do I need to have prior disaster experience?

A: No, all volunteers are welcome and training opportunities are available.


Q: I am a retired medical professional. Can I still volunteer?

A: Yes, you can! Just be sure to indicate your license status when you register.


Q: How do I become a RespondDE Volunteer?

A: Please click here to register.


Q: What do I do once I have registered?

A: You will be notified via email with orientation and training information and volunteer opportunities.


Q: Am I obligated to volunteer for RespondDE if I work in a hospital or health care facility, serve in the military, have other work requirements or family commitments that do not allow me to volunteer at the time of an emergency?

A: You are a volunteer, so there are no availability requirements. Certainly, we understand you may have work and family commitments that prohibit you from volunteering at any given time. Many MRC units also participate in numerous nonemergency public health activities that you can be involved in, if you have other emergency response commitments.


Q: How will I be contacted in an emergency?

A: You will be notified via SERVDE. The RespondDE Team will notify volunteers of a deployment opportunity via email, audio message, or text message. It is extremely important that you keep your contact information current in ServDE.