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This September 11th marks the 12th anniversary of the terrorist attacks in New York, Washington DC, and in the air over Pennsylvania. It also marks the fifth year that a National Day of Service and Remembrance has honored the lives of those who were injured or lost, and  commemorates the spirit of kindness and generosity that moved many of us to want to help during the weeks and months that followed.

A number of volunteer and service organizations were established following the events of September 2001 , many from the realization that an effective response to a disaster or other event requires that volunteers be registered, pre-credentialed, and deployed through a coordinated effort.

One such organization is MA Responds, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s  online registration system for health volunteers. MA Responds is part of a nationwide effort to quickly identify, verify and mobilize volunteers for effective response. This system is a partnership between DPH, local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) units, and other volunteer organizations in Massachusetts. Registering with MA Responds is the gateway to volunteering for public health events in the Commonwealth. Get involved yourself by visiting maresponds.org. And in the meantime, here’s a look at the great work of one MA Responds MRC unit:

Written By:


Director, Office of Preparedness and Emergency Management

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