DE BEST Mission Statement

To serve the state of Delaware by establishing, implementing, and sustaining volunteers to strengthen DSAMH initiatives, improve community resilience and support appropriate mental health response to disaster.

Why volunteer?

When disaster strikes, you can make a difference!

You never know when your community might need you. It could be because of an outbreak of a communicable disease, a natural disaster, or a manmade disaster. In emergencies. Delaware Public Health’s RespondDE/DMRC volunteers provide additional staffing needed to save lives by helping public health teams distribute medication and offering medical care. The RespondDE/DMRC DE BEST is sponsored by the Division of Substance Abuse and Mental Health (DSAMH) in order to supplement Delaware’s crisis response resources and promote community resilience. By registering in advance to volunteer, you can be quickly mobilized where your valuable skills are needed the most. RespondDE/DMRC includes three MRC units (New Castle, Kent and Sussex County units), as well as a team for Behavioral and Emotional Support Team (DE BEST).


Who should volunteer?

If you are 18 or older, whatever your experience or training, your community needs you! RespondDE/DMRC is actively recruiting medical and non-medical volunteers, including, but not limited, to:

  • Administrative & IT support
  • Office support staff
  • Greeters or runners
  • Patient transport
  • Chaplains
  • Radio communicators
  • Interpreters
  • Social workers
  • Mental health practitioners
  • EMT or paramedics
  • Physicians
  • Nurses
  • Respiratory therapists
  • Pharmacists
  • Dentists


What do RespondDE/DMRC volunteers do?

There are many roles a Reserve Corps volunteer can play to support everyday public health initiatives as well as during emergency and disaster events.
A few examples:

    • Mass vaccinations
    • Dispensing medications
    • Triaging evacuees
    • Administrative support
    • Language translation
    • Foot traffic control
    • Medical personnel assistance
    • Supply distribution
    • Logistics
    • Community outreach education
    • Behavioral and emotional support

You will receive an alert in the event of a disaster and have the chance to either accept or decline the volunteer request. If you accept, specific instructions will be provided on where and when to report, and what is needed for the incident. Response are necessary to know capacity and availability of volunteers, however, there is no obligation to participate during an activation.


Benefits of Volunteering


  • Helping Delaware to better prepare for and respond to public health emergencies
  • Getting to know your community better
  • Networking and building references
  • Earning continuing education credits from applicable trainings
  • Gaining public health experience
  • Learning opportunities and skills development through training and hands-on drills/exercises
  • Sense of pride and accomplishment through community service
  • Being part of a dedicated community crisis and/or emergency response team


Local emergencies have the capability to quickly overwhelm the capacity of first responders and the medical infrastructure, especially during the first 12-72 hours. Having residents who are pre-credentialed, trained, and ready to respond during times of crisis will allow first responders to focus their efforts on the most critical, life threatening situations. RespondDE/DMRC volunteers supplement existing local emergency, medical, behavioral health and public health resources.



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