The Southern-most MRC serves 135 miles of islands located off of the Florida coast. This MRC has been in operation since 2003. Our housing authority is the Florida Keys Area Health education Center (AHEC). This has provided us the opportunity to enhance our continuing education unit opportunities for all volunteers, and be more proactive within the community with volunteering for community health initiatives and non-emergent event support. We credential through the ESAR-VHP ServFl.com system. All volunteers are to become chapter 110 volunteers for the Monroe County Health Department/Fla Dept of Health in order to obtain sovereign immunity while volunteering.
KEYS HRC is a network of acute and sub-acute care hospitals, county emergency response agencies, and community disaster partners. The Coalition collaborates on planning, training and exercising for an area-wide health and/or medical response to a disaster or incident.
After the events of 9/11, and more recently, hurricanes in Monroe County, the County enacted a mock drill to determine what the capabilities and gaps were in the community’s emergency response system. The drill brought together three hospitals, municipal and county law enforcement, EMS/fire rescue, HAZMAT, The American Red Cross, and other responders. The outcome revealed that individual agencies could not act alone to effectively address a disaster or public health emergency. Thus, the Keys Health Ready Coalition was formed.
Operationally, KEYS HRC has a formal structure, with bylaws, specific strategic planning goals, regular meetings and scheduled activities that are planned and managed.