1. What is the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers-Nevada (SERV-NV)?

SERV-NV is Nevada’s volunteer registry, developed in compliance with the Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP) guidelines. Information pertaining to individual volunteers such as contact information, licensure, credentials, training history, response experience and skills is collected and maintained. It also serves as the system for identifying, activating, and deploying volunteers during disasters, and functions as a communication tool for providing volunteers with information about training and exercises. The volunteer credentials are verified at the time of registration.

 

2. What is the Emergency System for Advanced Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP)?

ESAR-VHP is a United States federal program to establish and implement guidelines and standards for the registration, credentialing, and deployment of medical professionals in the event of a large scale national emergency. The program is administered under the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) within the office of the Public Health Emergency Preparedness of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. The ESAR-VHP standards are mandated to American States and territories, enabling an enhanced national interstate and intrastate system for using and sharing medical professionals.

 

3. Why is the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers-Nevada (SERV-NV) necessary?

Recent experience with large scale disasters has consistently shown that an effective response requires that volunteers be pre-credentialed and deployed through a coordinated effort. Well-meaning but unaffiliated volunteers who spontaneously present to disaster sites are often unable to be assigned. With limited time and resources to process volunteers, often only those with known credentials are permitted access to the disaster response. By registering with this site, you can be part of an alert system and respond, when activated, to a significant disaster or public health emergency. The site serves to improve volunteer coordination during an emergency.

 

4. How do I register?

Select ‘Register Now’ on the home page of this site to begin.  For detailed instructions on how to register, please click here.

 

5. What is required for participation? 
Aside from completing your profile, all organizations require three (3) FEMA Independent Study courses for participation. IS 100.b, IS 200.b and IS 700.a. For Mental Health Crisis Counselor Volunteers, it is also required to have completed the Psychological First Aid training. All of these courses can be taken online and are FREE. The FEMA Independent Study courses can be found on the following link: http://training.fema.gov/IS/NIMS.aspx. The Psychological First Aid course can be found on the following link: http://learn.nctsn.org. Once you’ve completed the courses, you will receive a link to your certificate via email or you will have the opportunity to print and/or save your certificate. Please send copies of the certificates to your local MRC coordinator or servnv@health.nv.gov.

 

6. Is my information safe?
Every possible step relating to data integrity and security is taken by the staff in order to prevent abuse and protect participants’ privacy. We do not use or disclose information about your individual visits to the site or information that you may give us on the site to any outside entities. Among the security features are certificates that use 2048 and 4096 bit encryption, hardened operating system software, intrusion detection and intrusion prevention systems, enterprise-class firewall and management appliances, SSAE-16/SAS-70 Type II certified data centers, and optional two-factor authentication for administrators. Please review the Privacy Policy for more information.

 

7. Who will have access to my personal data?
You, your local organization administrator, the system coordinator and the system administrator will have access to the data. Anyone with access to the data receives prior training in proper security and privacy procedures. Your information will be contained within a central, secure database. Some information you provide will not be seen by anyone including your local organization administrator, the system coordinator and the system administrator. Privileged information such as social security number and driver’s license number are encrypted from the moment you press the save button. Any other information would only be used to engage you in activities related to your local volunteer program, including recruitment for participation in a disaster drill or exercise, to provide you with program information or to request your assistance at the time of a large scale disaster or public health emergency.

 

8. I have already started registering with this system. How do I complete the registration process?
You will need to log in with the credentials (username & password) you created when you first started registering with the system. When you first log in, if your profile is incomplete, a window will open telling you your profile is incomplete and to please take the time to fill out all the sections listed in your Profile Summary. Click on Profile Summary to view the sections that are incomplete. If you have forgotten or lost your username or password, please click on “Forgot Username or Password” found on the Homepage.

 

9. How do I update or change my information?
After your initial registration, you can log on at any time using the credentials (username & password) you set when you registered. You can revisit any part of your profile to update and/or make changes to your profile. If you have forgotten or lost your username or password, please click on “Forgot Username or Password” found on the Homepage.

 

10. How often should I update my information?
Any time there is a change with your contact information, occupation information, deployment preferences, training or skill updates, or medical history information you should update your profile. In addition, we recommend that you check your profile and update as needed every six (6) months.

 

11. I am locked out. How do I reset my username or password?
If you have forgotten or lost your username or password, please click on “Forgot Username or Password” found on the Homepage.

 

12. Is it required that I register now, or may I decide if and when a crisis occurs?
Advanced registration is encouraged to enable the state to produce an immediate list of credentialed volunteers that may be needed in the event of an emergency. The ability to quickly identify and contact volunteer healthcare professionals who have the specific skills and competencies needed to care for people who are injured or ill, is the primary function of the registry. In addition to providing the ability to check credentials in advance of a large-scale disaster or public health emergency, the volunteer registry will serve as the resource and tracking mechanism for emergency training opportunities offered to volunteers. It will also help ensure that volunteers and services are available during a disaster or public health emergency, when needs are at critical levels. In the event of a declared disaster or public health emergency, you always have the option to decline deployment when requested. You are under no obligations to volunteer.

 

13. What organization should I join within the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers-Nevada (SERV-NV)?
This would depend on your deployment preferences. If you are willing to be deployed on a local level only (within your immediate region), we recommend you sign up with your local Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) unit. If you are willing to be deployed on a larger scale, such as an in-state or out-of-state disaster or emergency we recommend you sign up with the Statewide Volunteer Pool (SVP). Also available is the Mental Health Crisis Counselor Volunteers (MHCCV). Both the SVP and the MHCCV are in-state, out-of-state, and local deployments. If you are willing to deploy: in-state, out-of-state, and on a local level, you may choose to volunteer for one or all of the available organizations.

 

14. What kinds of local organizations will I be able to work with? Do I have a choice as to what types of organizations I can participate in? When you register in the system, you may choose from a list of participating organizations to volunteer with. As more volunteer organizations are added to the website, more choices will become available.

 

15. What is Medical Reserve Corps (MRC)?
Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) is part of a nationwide initiative to pre-register, manage, and mobilize volunteers to help their communities respond to all types of disasters. MRC units also help to foster disaster preparedness on a local level and serve as Ambassadors to the Office of the United States Surgeon General in the implementation of the Surgeon General’s Health Initiatives. MRCs serve to unite local health professionals and other individuals with relevant health-related skills in their community. The structure of each MRC unit varies, depending on its own unique requirements and on the needs of the people and community that it serves and will aid the local, existing community emergency medical response systems. Most emergencies occur locally and on a smaller scale. Therefore, it is important that local organizations have their own volunteer base. Registering locally will provide you opportunities to participate in additional training and exercises, and perform non-emergency volunteer roles locally.

 

16. What is Statewide Volunteer Pool (SVP)?
The Statewide Volunteer Pool (SVP) is the organization within SERV-NV that houses volunteers who are willing to deploy on a federal, local, statewide, and/or out-of-state deployment should the need arise during a large-scale disaster or public health emergency. The Statewide Volunteer Pool is only activated during a state or federal declared incident.

 

17. What is Mental Health Crisis Counselor Volunteer (MHCCV)?
The Mental Health Crisis Counselor Volunteers (MHCCV) is a group of mental health professionals who receive special training as Crisis Counselors in Psychological First Aid. These volunteers respond to disaster and emergency situations around the state and provide support and services to survivors, family members, and first responders. The MHCCV is an organization managed at the state level.

 

18. Who can volunteer?
Anyone can volunteer. An emphasis is currently being placed on the recruitment of licensed medical and healthcare volunteers that will satisfy clinical needs and provide surge capacity for public health emergencies. However, volunteers who do not have any medical training are welcomed and encouraged to register. There will be a need for volunteers with all types of skills and expertise, such as those who are skilled in interpretation (language and hearing impaired); administration; law enforcement; fire fighter; search and rescue; education related; military; HAM Radio experience, and other skill sets. All volunteers are valued, even if you have no specific qualifications other than the willingness to help.

 

19. How many volunteers are needed?
The number of volunteers that will actually be needed will vary depending on the size and magnitude of the incident. A large-scale emergency could overwhelm the capabilities of first responders, particularly during the first 12 to 72 hours. Medical and other health volunteers, as well as non-medical volunteers, would provide an important “surge” capacity during this critical period and supplement medical staff shortages at local medical and emergency facilities. Volunteers will play vital roles in bridging gaps and enhance the overall capabilities of the community’s emergency response plan. There is the chance a number of volunteers will have conflicts that will prevent them from volunteering at the time they are requested to help. A sufficient number of volunteers should be registered so each community will have enough volunteers when the need arises.

 

20. Will I receive any special training?
Your local organization administrator will contact you with any training opportunities via email. If interested, you will have the ability to register for that training. On occasion, seminars, live webcasts/broadcasts, and local and state area conferences will become available. Majority of training opportunities are free; however, on occasion, some training opportunities that are associated with a cost may become available, but they will not be mandatory. When you as a volunteer are asked to deploy, Just-in-Time Training will be provided to prepare you with what can be expected, and what you need to know to help out and keep yourself safe.

 

21. How and why are my credentials verified?
Your credentials will be verified by utilizing the appropriate licensing board. Obtaining, verifying, and assessing qualifications of a healthcare professional are important aspects to maintaining a volunteer healthcare availability roster. Only volunteer healthcare professionals with verified credentials will be utilized to provide patient care, treatment and other medical services during an emergency event. For hospital or clinical practice volunteers, your employment and privileges within your medical facility will also be verified by contacting the hospital or clinic directly, therefore, it is important that you enter your supervisor or peer information within the occupations page. This information is collected and verified to determine if you are qualified to assist in a hospital or clinical setting if needed.

 

22. What is my Emergency Credential Level?
The Emergency Credential Level or ECL is determined by the information you provide in your profile. Your healthcare professional license and/or experience and place of practice all help to determine your ECL. There are four (4) Emergency Credential Levels:
ECL 1: Licensure or Certifications have been verified and hospital privileges have been confirmed.
ECL 2: Licensure or Certifications have been verified and clinical privileges have been confirmed. Private clinical practice also falls under this ECL.
ECL 3: Licensure or Certifications have been verified and is in good standing.
ECL 4: Experience and/or Education in a healthcare field. This category includes, but is not limited to: healthcare professionals with an expired license, such as a retired medical professional, and students within the medical field.
*Non credential level: Non-Medical Volunteer-volunteer holds no healthcare license or certificate and has no education or experience within a medical field.

 

23. Under what conditions will I be contacted to provide emergency services?
You may be contacted if local, regional, state and/or interstate volunteer resources are not sufficient to meet the need for response and recovery efforts resulting from a natural or man-made emergency. You will be contacted based on your deployment preferences in your profile. For example, if you chose local only, you will be contacted for local incidents only. If you also select in-state and/or out-of-state, you may be contacted for events that would require travel. In this case, all of your travel cost would be compensated.

 

24. Are volunteers only called during times of disaster or emergency events?
Although the volunteers are needed to respond to disaster or emergencies, you may be asked to volunteer for a non-emergency event, especially if you join a local MRC. Often times, the local MRC unit will ask their local volunteers to assist with non-emergency activities including, but not limited to: school-based flu vaccinations and first-aid booths. Non-emergency events at the state and regional/federal level would most likely be an exercise to test the system and check the readiness of volunteers.

 

25. How would I know if I was needed during a disaster?
In the event of a disaster or emergency, if the need for volunteer assistance occurs, you will be contacted through the system via email. You would then have the opportunity to respond to the request through the system or by contacting your organization administrator. If you accept the deployment request, you will receive further information and instruction. It is important to keep your contact information accurate and up-to-date.

 

26. If I register, am I committed to respond when called? What if I have obligations that do not allow me to volunteer at the time of an emergency?
Registering with the system in no way commits you to respond. In the event of a declared disaster or public health emergency, you always have the option to decline deployment when requested. Your service is strictly voluntary and you are not legally obligated to provide assistance. It is understood that personal circumstances can prevent you from volunteering. We encourage all of our volunteers to have an emergency preparedness plan in place prior to any disaster or public health emergency. Not only will an emergency preparedness plan help protect you and your family, it may also enable you to fulfill your desire to volunteer and assist during an incident.

 

27. What is an Emergency Preparedness Plan?
Disaster can strike at any time, so it is important to be prepared. No one is ever fully prepared for what nature can throw at us, but we can attempt to be ready for a lot of what ‘could’ happen. An emergency preparedness plan should look into the needs of you and your loved ones. You should have plenty of meals, water, medical resources and ways of remaining comfortable to stay put if you’re unable to travel anywhere. It is vital you prepare a checklist of the types of resources you and your family will need. The plan should be reviewed by all adults as well as children so that each person knows what to do. Visit any of the following websites to start your family emergency preparedness plan today!

http://www.redcross.org/prepare/location/home-family/preparedness
http://www.disasterprep101.com/Forms.htm
http://www.ready.gov/
http://www.fema.gov/what-mitigation/plan-prepare
http://emergency.cdc.gov/preparedness/plan/

 

28. What if multiple programs contact me to volunteer during a crisis?
Prior commitments such as family, employment, local fire department or other groups or organizations can be added to your profile when registering. This information is collected within the deployment preferences page. If contacted by SERV-NV and another organization, it is your decision to choose what commitments you are able to make. Prior to accepting deployment, you should check with other commitments and obtain any needed consent from your employer if deployment would interfere with your work schedule.

 

29. I am a retired healthcare professional; am I still eligible to register?
Absolutely! The value of retired medical personnel for their wealth of knowledge and experience is well recognized. Retired healthcare professionals are more likely to be available during a public health emergency, as currently licensed and employed professional may be needed at their place of employment during a disaster. If you are a retired formerly licensed (expired license) medical professional, you would fall under ECL 4. If you are a retired medical professional who still holds a valid license, you would fall under ECL 3. Please review ‘What is my Emergency Credential Level?’ in the frequently asked questions section. (#22)

 

30. If I am not currently employed, but keep my license current; am I still eligible to register?
Yes, for many of the same reasons as the retired professional. Licensed healthcare professionals are needed and are strongly encouraged to register.

 

31. May I register if I’m not currently licensed or practicing in a medical field? 
Yes. There are many needs for unlicensed health professionals, as well as a need for those without medical training who may serve as general volunteers. Whether you are actively licensed, a student, retired healthcare professional, or someone with an interest in volunteering during a health emergency, you are encouraged to register.

 

32. I do not have a medical background; can I still register and volunteer?
Yes! Individuals interested in volunteering during a disaster are necessary and may be utilized as support personnel during a public health disaster. Potential assignments are not limited to only healthcare professionals. We encourage all individual with medical or non-medical backgrounds to register.

 

33. What is my responsibility to my current employer?
You must make necessary arrangements with your employer in order to take the time to volunteer. We recognize that your employer may have particular needs, including needs related to the specific disaster. The conditions under which an employee will be released to volunteer in an emergency remain between the employer and employee.

 

34. What if I am already working at a local hospital or currently obligated to serve in a branch of the military?
If you have prior volunteering commitments, military or National Guard responsibilities, or work commitments, please inform us of this in the prior emergency response commitments section of your profile. Your status and availability as a volunteer may be determined with your hospital/employer’s emergency plan. If the emergency is in your immediate area, you may be required to report to work. Some volunteers may be released from normal duties by their employer. If circumstances permit, and your employer agrees to release you to volunteer, we encourage you to make yourself available as a volunteer when you are called. If contacted by SERV-NV and another organization, it is your decision to choose what commitments you are able to make.

 

35. What is the difference between Active and Inactive status?
The Active/Inactive status option is found in the settings page of your profile. An Active status means that you are available for deployment if an incident were to occur. An Inactive status means that you are not available for deployment. While your status is ‘Inactive’, you will still be able to gain access to your account, and you may still receive emails from the system, usually regarding your account. Two examples of the need to change from Active to Inactive might include:
• You are leaving the area or state, but will be returning (military, vacation, etc.),
• You are the primary caregiver for a disabled, elderly or other family member or friend and cannot leave.
If your situation changes and you become available, you can log in at any time to change the status to Active.

36. I have an out-of-state license. Am I still eligible to register in the volunteer registry?
Yes, out-of-state volunteers are accepted in the system. Currently, however, the system is only verifying in-state licenses. Due to the complexity of verifying out-of-state medical licenses, you may only be approved as a non-medical group member until verification is established.

 

37. How can I ensure that my particular talents/training/expertise will be utilized?
When you register, you will have the opportunity to enter information about your particular training, expertise, certifications, etc. Please visit the ‘Training’ and ‘Skills and Certifications’ pages to add your information. You may upload certificates of trainings you’ve taken on the ‘Training’ page. If you have a particular skill or certification, or a training you’ve completed that is not on the list, you can select ‘other’, or you can email servnv@health.nv.gov to request that it be added. At the time of deployment, this information will be considered by those coordinating the deployment. Efforts will be made to match skills with needs. You can help ensure the proper match by keeping the information about your own training and certifications up-to-date in the system.

 

38. What types of tasks will I be assigned?
Needs and tasks will be determined by the event. Volunteer information will be used to assign tasks to volunteers based on the individual’s qualifications and experience. Every attempt will be made to match the skills and license/certifications or ECL of the volunteer with their assignment during an emergency response. You can expect that you will be asked to perform tasks that are consistent with and not to exceed your level of licensure; sometimes healthcare professionals may be assigned to tasks that are less challenging than their usual professional activities, including non-medical and general tasks, during emergencies. Please review ‘What is my Emergency Credential Level?’ in the frequently asked questions section. (#22)

 

39. What will be my level or length of commitment in an emergency?
There is no specific length of service required; it is entirely voluntary. Deployments may last only a few hours or up to 21 days, however, special circumstances may require shorter or longer deployments. Your participation should be determined by your own availability. When determining your level of participation, you should consider the following questions:
• What type of incident are you willing to respond to?
• What distance are you willing to travel?
• How long are you willing to be deployed?
You will receive all the necessary information regarding the incident to ensure you are able to make an informed decision.

 

40. Can I specify that I want to volunteer in my own community or outside my community?
Yes. You can indicate that you are only willing to volunteer in your local area and/or that you are willing to volunteer in the event of a larger emergency that occurs in other communities, statewide, or even in other states that may require assistance. Please review ‘Deployment Preferences’ in your profile and update if necessary.

 

41. Will I be able to or be asked to volunteer in other counties and/or states?
Yes. You may indicate on the ‘Deployment Preferences’ page of your availability. Although efforts will be made to deploy volunteers that are close to the affected community, it is not always possible. Having volunteers that are willing to deploy outside their community and even out-of-state during a state or federal declared emergency is welcomed and encouraged. Deployment varies depending on the event and volunteers may decline any event and any time.

 

42. What are conditions going to be like in the area I will be going to and what are the types of risks I may be exposed to during an emergency?
Volunteers will be needed in different types of emergencies including floods, hurricanes, tornados, large fires and events that may be chemical, biological or radiological in nature. Emergency situations pose danger risks and it is important to understand that responding to an emergency event can be mentally and physically tiring. Conditions in the area could be very primitive, and you could be working in an area of severely limited resources and no creature comforts. The climate will be dictated by the season in which the event is occurring. Volunteers will receive information about the event and any risks associated with the event. Volunteers will not be asked to attempt or to perform any work for which he/she is not trained or prepared. Each volunteer must ask themselves, “What types of incidents am I willing to respond to?” prior to accepting a volunteer assignment.

 

43. Once I’ve registered, how should I prepare for deployment? What should I bring with me?
Prior to any type of disaster or public health emergency, you should have an emergency preparedness plan in place for you and your family. You will also be provided a recommended deployment list prior to any deployment. The organization administrator will contact you for orientation and Just-in-Time training if necessary. Please review ‘What is an Emergency Preparedness Plan?’ in the frequently asked questions section. (#27)

 

44. How do I get to the deployment area or base camp?
Logistical information will be given to volunteers pertaining to how they will assemble at the staging area and return to the staging area when his/her deployment has ended. Please do not deploy to the base camp on your own.

 

45. What kind of identification and/or credentials will I need to provide during a deployment?
All volunteers must provide valid identification. Those working in a professional capacity will also have to provide their current professional license.

 

46. I registered several days ago, why haven’t I been called up yet?
Registering at this website allows you to be called upon to assist when needed. Although you have not received an assignment that does not mean you will not be called upon in the future. Requests for assistance arrive from the local Emergency Operations Center and we will utilize this registry to identify potential volunteers to assist.

 

47. Are there any specific health concerns (e.g., vaccinations) that are required for me to participate?
There are no prior vaccinations required to volunteer. However, in the event of certain public health emergencies, such as pandemic influenza or bioterrorism, medical countermeasures may become available, and you as a volunteer, would receive that countermeasure if needed.

 

48. Are there any provisions for compensating me for time lost from work or other expenses?
Currently, no provisions exist for compensating volunteers for time lost from work. However, in the event of an emergency, provisions such as meals and mileage may become available, but they are not defined at this time. The volunteer will be given appropriate compensation information prior to committing to a deployment.

 

49. If I volunteer, will there be help available to take care of my family?
At this time, there are no provisions in place for the care of families of volunteers. You are strongly encouraged to put an emergency preparedness plan in place now to protect you and your loved ones should an event occur. Please review ‘What is an Emergency Preparedness Plan’ in the frequently asked questions section. (#27)

 

50. Does my emergency response program/organization participate in this system?
Please contact your program/organization administrator directly to learn if your emergency volunteer program participates.

 

51. I am an administrator of an emergency response team/program/organization and would like to learn more about having my emergency response team/program/organization included in this system. How do I begin this process?
If you are an administrator of an emergency response team/program/organization and would like to learn more on how you can gain access to this system for your emergency response needs, please contact us.

 

52. FAQ Disclaimer:
These FAQs are for informational purposes only. Nothing within these FAQs is meant to provide specific legal guidance or advice to any person. Rather, these FAQs are meant to serve as an assessment tool for individuals who are considering participation in SERV-NV. Readers should consult their own attorney about these laws and their applicability to particular situations or organizations. Please contact us for more information.

 

53. Questions?
If you have other questions or need additional information, please contact us.