Hundreds of N.J. volunteers stepped up to help during Sandy emergency

    Hundreds of people from the New Jersey Medical Reserve Corps showed up to help when Superstorm Sandy touched down last week. The corps is a national network of local volunteers with 25 units in New Jersey, including lay people and health professionals.

    County by county, health officers sent out the call for help as the state was bracing for the massive storm. In Ocean County, a school nurse was one of hundreds of volunteers who responded to help at community centers and temporary shelters.

    “She provided medical treatments, triaging patients, assisting with medicine distribution, taking blood pressure,” said Christopher Rinn, assistant commissioner Division of Public Health Infrastructure, Laboratories and Emergency Preparedness. “Really helping the medically needed in those particular shelters get through a pretty difficult time.”

    Rinn said the turn out was impressive.

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    “It was the largest deployment of volunteers in the history of the corps since it was established in 2005,” he said.

    New Jersey has about 5,800 Medical Reserve volunteers across the state, and is looking for additional recruits.

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