Acknowledgement

By registering on the State Emergency Registry of Volunteers (SERVGA) site for health professional volunteers, I acknowledge that I may be considered for service as a volunteer health professional or general volunteer during a declared emergency or disaster. I understand that part of the online process entails voluntarily providing personal information that will be collected, used and maintained by the Georgia Department of Public Health in implementing the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP). Click the Volunteer Agreement link to obtain the stipulations for operating as a SERVGA Volunteer. For commonly asked questions, please refer to the FAQ section.

FAQ

If you did not see your question in the list above please contact us.

What does it mean to be a volunteer?

Volunteers response when an emergency or disaster requires more personnel and resources than local emergency response programs have on hand. Emergencies might include hurricanes or other natural disasters, natural disease outbreaks, terrorism, or major accidents and disasters. Volunteers may be called upon to dispense medications and vaccinations, treat evacuees in an emergency shelter, augment healthcare facility staff, etc.

Back to top

What does SERVGA stand for?

The State Emergency Registry of Volunteers in Georgia (SERVGA) is a statewide secure database of pre-credentialed healthcare professionals and other volunteers who want to help in case of a public health emergency.

Back to top

What are the functions of SERVGA?

SERVGA collects and maintain information pertaining to individual responders such as contact information, licensure, credentials, training history, response experience and skills. It also serves as the system for identifying, activating, and deploying responders during disasters. SERVGA also functions as a communication tool for providing responders with information about trainings and exercises.

Back to top

What is required to register in SERVGA?

Registering is quick and can be done within minutes. Name, address, contact information and occupation type completes the initial registration process. In order to be eligible for potential assignments (local/in-state/out-of-state), responders are encouraged to complete a Profile Summary, which includes:

  • Skills & Certifications
  • Training
  • Medical History
  • Emergency Contact
  • Deployment Preferences (specify local/ in-state/out-of state assignments)

Back to top

How can I register?

Online registration is available for general volunteers and members of emergency response programs. Click the "Click Here to Register" hyperlink on the home page to begin the registration process. If you are an existing member of a participating program, please indicate your participation in that program during the registration process.

Back to top

I forgot my password and/or username; who should I contact to reset this information?

You can contact your unit administrator(s) or email the system administrator at servga@dhr.state.ga.us

Back to top

What type of information do I need to provide as an emergency volunteer to register with this System?

When you register, you will need to agree to the terms of service, and then you will be asked to provide information specific to you and your skills for use by program administrators in establishing your emergency credentialing level and contacting you in the event of an emergency deployment.

Back to top

What is an emergency credential level?

Emergency Credentialing Level (ECL) is a designation assigned to a volunteer registered in SERVGA and based on possessed and verified credentials, as defined by emergency credentialing standards. Each healthcare volunteer being evaluated may be classified into one of four different emergency credentialing levels: Levels 1, 2, 3, and 4.

Back to top

What are the emergency credential level standards?

Emergency Credential Level 1 (ECL 1) ensures that an adequate supply of hospital qualified health professionals are available to work in hospitals in times of an emergency. Hospital qualified health professionals are distinguished from other health professionals by the rigorous and constant review of credentials and performance. Assignment to Credential Level 1 requires confirmation that the volunteer is actively employed in a hospital or has hospital privileges.

Emergency Credential Level 2 (ECL 2) ensures the availability of highly qualified individuals who may deliver services in a wide variety of settings such as clinics, nursing hones, and shelters. Assignment to Credential Level 2 requires confirmation that the volunteer is clinically active in any setting other than a hospital (e.g. clinic, private practice, nursing home, etc.).

Emergency Credential Level 3 (ECL 3) includes the individuals who meet the basic qualifications necessary to practice in the State in which they are registered. Assignment to Credential Level 3 usually requires verification of a volunteer's license or a certification.

Emergency Credential Level 4 (ECL 4) includes individuals who have healthcare experience or education in an area that would be useful in providing basic healthcare not controlled by a state's scope of practices laws, and to otherwise assist clinicians. Assignment to Credential Level 4 requires that the volunteer possess verified documentation of healthcare education or experience. This classification may include, but is not limited to, healthcare students or retired healthcare professionals who no longer hold a license.

Back to top

I do not have a medical background; can I still register and volunteer?

Yes, individual citizens interested in volunteering during a disaster are necessary to supporting a public health disaster. The needs of a potential assignment are not limited to only healthcare professionals. SERVGA is open to any medical, public health professional/student as well as non-medical individuals.

Back to top

How can I change information that I provide on my account registration?

Once you have completed the registration process, you will be able to log in to your account using your username and password to update your account information.

Back to top

Once I register, am I obligated to accept every assignment offered?

No, registering simply tells us that you are open to the idea of volunteering in case of an emergency. It does not guarantee that you will be called upon, nor does it mean that you must participate if contacted.

Back to top

I am a program administrator and would like to learn more about having my emergency response program included in this System?

If you are a program administrator for an emergency response organization, and would like to learn how your organization can utilize SERVGA, please click here.

Back to top

Does my emergency response program participate in this System?

Please contact your program administrator directly to learn if your emergency volunteer program participates.

Back to top

If I do not join a unit, will I be assigned to one automatically?

Yes, volunteers in the unaffiliated group have declined membership in one of the volunteer organizations offered in SERVGA. At anytime, volunteers can reconsider membership in one of the partnering organizations as the additional training and membership resources can be beneficial. Volunteers who are not affiliated with one of the groups (select "no affiliation) will be put in the "state pool of non-affiliated volunteers", and will be connected to the organization requesting assistance at the time of a disaster or public health emergency.

Back to top

If I am already a part of a unit, may I join another one?

Yes.

Back to top

What if I want to register for an emergency response unit in a county I do not reside in?

The system will permit you to apply to any unit, but the unit administrator determines your acceptance. The county in which you reside is an important variable.

Back to top

Will I be able to volunteer in other counties and/or states?

Yes, but you may only be contacted when other local volunteers are exhausted and outside assistance is needed. A disaster is a local event and local volunteer networks are utilized first before calling upon volunteers outside of those networks.

Back to top

How long will an assignment last?

The length of an assignment depends on the type and severity. You will be advised of the times needed before deployment and a schedule will be created for you to select your availability. Also under the Profile Summary section, responders are able to specify assignment preferences (deployment availability, deployment distance and duration, and existing emergency response commitments). Your unit administrator will advise you of any materials needed for your assignment.

Back to top

What will be my volunteer assignment and is there a list of duties I should expect to perform?

Every attempt will be made to match the skills and license or registration level of the volunteer with their assignment during an emergency response. Volunteers may be asked to handle assignments that are less challenging than their usual professional activities. Duties and expectations are given during unit training. Therefore, it is important to keep all contact information updated in order to receive training information.

Back to top

What if SERVGA is activated and I am unable or unwilling to respond?

Volunteers are never under any obligation to participate in an emergency response. Volunteers always retain the right to decline participation for any reason. You have the opportunity during registration to specify assignment preferences.

Back to top

What about my personal safety?

Volunteers should always approach a disaster area with caution. Anytime you enter an area of intense devastation, you should pay particular attention to your personal safety. While conditions continue to improve as resources enter the area, there are pockets that may still be considered unstable. If you are not prepared for these conditions, please do not accept the assignment. It is important to review training materials before going to a site.

Back to top

What liability protection will I receive?

As a volunteer, you may be asked to participate in emergency management activities such as emergency preparedness exercises and actual responses to public health emergencies and disasters. Generally, volunteers working within their scope of practice are protected from liability, except in cases of willful misconduct, gross negligence, or bad faith. You will not be eligible for workers compensation with the state based on your enrollment in the volunteer program. Check with your volunteer organization for any coverage that you may be eligible for outside of the state or county program.

Back to top

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. Please review the Privacy Policy.

Back to top

Who has access to my information?

The SERVGA vendor and SERVGA system coordinator have access to your profile, except your social security number. If you have been accepted to a unit (CERT team, MRC team, etc.), the unit administrator(s) will also have access to your profile, except your social security number. Responders will be contacted by SERVGA administrator(s).

Back to top

What is ESAR-VHP?

Emergency System for the Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals. The mission of the ESAR-VHP program is to establish a national interoperable network of state based ESAR-VHP systems for managing volunteers at all tiers of response. Each system verifies the identity, credentials, certifications, licenses, and hospital privileges of health professionals who volunteer to provide health services during a public health emergency. Georgia's ESAR-VHP system is called SERVGA (Georgia's State Emergency Registry of Volunteers).

Back to top