Mass emergency text alert from Ill. asks for healthcare workers

Mass emergency text alert from Ill. asks for healthcare workers
Some thought this message received on mobile devices Tuesday morning was a hoax or a scam, but it wasn’t. (Source: KFVS/Tori Bowden)

ILLINOIS (KFVS) - It is not uncommon to hear tornado sirens and other alerts sounding off at 10 a.m. on the first Tuesday of the month in Illinois.

So how about on the last day of the month and only on your mobile device?

That is what happened at 9:30 a.m. in Illinois and neighboring states on Tuesday, March 31.

A mass text alert was sent out by IllinoisHelps.net.

The alert stated that Illinois is in need of licensed healthcare workers to fight COVID-19.

Those able to help were asked to click on the IllinoiHelps.net link.

Some thought the message was a hoax or a scam, but it wasn’t.

Illinois Healthcare Professional Emergency Volunteer Program, known as Illinois Helps, is a state run emergency response organization.

Their alert system was activated to help with the current coronavirus situation and for future emergencies.

The group is asking medically trained individuals to register to be potentially contacted to work in a hospital surge or alternative situation.

Those who register could become part of the Emergency System for Advance Registration of Volunteer Health Professionals (ESAR-VHP), which is part of the alert system that responds when activated to a significant disaster or public health emergency.

Illinois Helps may only be activated by the Director, Illinois Department of Public Health or the Commissioner, Chicago Department of Public Health or their designees in the event of an emergency.

Those not in the medical field were also asked to help by volunteering through Serve Illinois.

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