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FAQs

What is the Volunteer Registry?
The Volunteer Registry is a secure web based data base that is used to identify and notify individuals willing to respond to a public health emergency.
Who can use the Registry?
The Registry is available for use by individuals willing to volunteer for disaster response and organizations that utilize volunteers, including hospitals, local public health jurisdictions, CERT, MRC, etc.
Why should I register
The Montana Volunteer Registry allows people to offer their particular skills and knowledge in times of disaster or emergency. The registry gives volunteer coordinators the opportunity to collaboratively and efficiently call up the volunteers they need for any particular event.
How do I register?
Begin by clicking the ‘Register Now’ button on the home page (http://mtvolunteers.mt.gov). Simply fill in the information and follow the instructions for registration. Please indicate your membership in any volunteer programs or organizations when you register.
Who pays for the Registry? Is there a cost for registering?
There is no fee for registering. The Registry was developed and is maintained by the Hospital Preparedness Program, Department of Public Health & Human Services with funds provided by the US Health and Human Services' Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness & Response.
What type of information do I need to provide?
You will be asked to provide information specific to you and your skills as well as your current contact information and availability. This information is needed to determine if and when you can be asked to volunteer for certain events.
Will my information be kept confidential?
Your information is kept confidential and will only be viewed by the trained local administrator. It will not be used for any purpose other than this registry. You may review the Privacy Policy if you have any further questions.
How can I change information that I have provided?
You may log-in with your username issued to you and the password you selected when you registered and change or update the information you have provided.
What are the advantages of using a registry system?
A registry system can help respondents to an emergency to quickly and efficiently organize and communicate with volunteers. A registry saves time getting the right volunteers to the right place at the right time to do the right job.
How is it different than the hospital volunteer registry?
The volunteer registry for hospitals, known as the Montana Healthcare Mutual Aid System (MHMAS), is a registry to coordinate and verify medical personnel for responding to local, regional, or statewide emergencies. It is a registry for people who wish to volunteer directly in a hospital setting. The Volunteer Registry is for people who want to serve in any public health response for the other, but critically important, functions of an emergency response and won't be working in patient care.
Is there an age requirement for the Registry?
No. Organizers of an emergency response would be responsible for any age restrictions. Some events won't need restrictions, and could utilize groups such as the Boy Scouts. The Registry is only a database.
Are there any prerequisites for joining the Registry?
A person only needs a willingness to register and offer their particular skills. However, people with medical credentials who want to volunteer in medical settings will undergo a background check.
Is there a background check on people who register?
Background checks are performed on all Type I and Type II volunteers working at a local public health department. Type I volunteers have a current, unencumbered medical license and practice in a hospital. Type II volunteers have a current and unencumbered medical license, but do not practice in a hospital (ie. a clinic, public health department, etc.)
I have a medical license, but don't want to volunteer in a hospital or other medical service setting. Can I sign up in the regular registry? Would I still have to submit to a background check?
Volunteers have the option to select a variety of settings in which they would be willing to volunteer. For example, a volunteer might choose to work at an immunization clinic or a shelter. If a volunteer does not want to serve in a medical capacity, no background check is required.
How will I be notified?
When a need for volunteers arises, the Registry will identify potential volunteers based on where the event occurs and the types of volunteers needed. If you are identified as a potential volunteer, you may be contacted via email or phone and asked if you are willing to participate in the current event. It is important for you to keep your contact and skills information up to date.
Do I have to work on a volunteer project if I am called?
No, a volunteer may decline a deployment request. The choice is yours.
Because this is a state registry, will I be asked to travel to different areas to do volunteer work?
You may be asked to volunteer outside of your local community if you have selected that option when you register. A volunteer has the option to decline any deployment request anytime.
How do I find out if my volunteer program participates in this system?
You must contact your volunteer program coordinator or administrator to determine if it participates in the Montana Volunteer Registry.
My organization already does volunteer work. Why use the Volunteer Registry?
The Volunteer Registry serves as a management tool for an organization. It is like a big catalogue of volunteers. If volunteers with a certain skill set are needed, the Registry can search the data base to find individuals with that skill set. The Registry can also be used to track the deployment of volunteers so that individuals are accounted for in a disaster response.
If a volunteer is injured, is the Volunteer Registry held responsible?
No, the Volunteer Registry is simply an informational database and not an entity that puts volunteers to work. The Registry is only an organizational tool for volunteers that agree to participate.
If a volunteer makes a mistake while serving, who is liable?
Because the registry is just a database for management and communication, there is no liability assumed by the Registry. If a volunteer working in response to a disaster meets the criteria and conditions of the Volunteer Protection Act of 1997, he or she may be protected.
My organization would like to learn more about using the Volunteer Registry.
If you want more information, contact your local public health department for more information. They can put you in touch with a Volunteer Registry manager.

If you do not see your question in the list above, please contact Margaret Souza at msouza@mt.gov.