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Wisconsin Department of Health Services

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 7, 2014

CONTACT: Jennifer Miller, (608) 266-1683

STATE HEALTH CARE PROFESSIONALS URGED TO SIGN UP WITH THE WISCONSIN EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE VOLUNTEER REGISTRY

WEAVR Volunteers Respond To Natural Disasters and Public Health Emergencies

MADISON—Wisconsin resident Richard Wagner is a former park ranger, wilderness guide, and military trainer. He is also a Wilderness Emergency Medical Technician (W-EMT) and a WEAVR volunteer.

WEAVR stands for Wisconsin Emergency Assistance Volunteer Registry, a database of health care professionals, active and retired, who make themselves available to respond in case of a natural disaster or public health emergency.

“I joined because I know that when a large scale event happens it will be difficult to muster the resources needed to respond,” said Wagner. “I help because I can, and I want to be part of supporting my neighbors on their worst day.”

WEAVR volunteers help local response teams organize relief efforts during large scale emergencies anywhere in the state. Besides active or retired health care providers, like doctors, nurses, and EMTs, professionals in behavioral health and animal health are also encouraged to register.

“The expertise volunteer health care professionals can provide during an emergency is incalculable,” said Karen McKeown, State Health Officer. “The great thing about volunteering with WEAVR is that the health care professionals can decide if and when they can participate at that time, so it needn’t interfere with their professional or personal schedules.”

Health care professionals can self-register on the secure, password-protected Web-based registration system. It is recommended that they have their credentials ready to make the process move more quickly. Credentials are verified to make the response to an emergency more efficient and timely.

In 2003, Wisconsin became the first state in the nation to create a registry of volunteer health professionals. In 2012, WEAVR launched a robust, efficient registration system, with 1,400 volunteers registered so far. WEAVR volunteers have assisted in Milwaukee doing screenings of evacuees from Hurricane Katrina, staffed Red Cross shelters during floods in southern and central Wisconsin, and worked at call centers during the H1N1 influenza pandemic.

Governor Scott Walker has declared April 6-12, 2014 Volunteer Week in the state of Wisconsin. To view the proclamation, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/WEAVR/proclamation.pdf.

For more information about WEAVR, including details on how to register, visit: http://www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/preparedness/WEAVR/.

 

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Last Revised:  April 08, 2014