The Pennsylvania State Health Department wants to know who would be willing to lend a hand in the event of a statewide emergency as it joins a nationwide effort to establish a registry of potential volunteers.
The department unveiled the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Pennsylvania, or SERVPA, during a news conference on emergency preparedness. The online registry will help the state build a database of volunteers with a wide range of backgroundsincluding doctors, nurses, contractors and law enforcementwho can be mobilized when disaster strikes, Health Secretary Calvin Johnson said.
All 50 states are developing statewide volunteer registries under legislation passed by Congress in 2002 in response to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks and the anthrax attacks that followed. The federal government is spending about $10 million on the program, dividing the money evenly among all the states.