By Jennifer McRae

DENVER (CBS4)– Colorado is about to become the first state in the country with its own emergency brigade of health care workers. Gov. Jared Polis signed a new law creating the nation’s first Health Service Reserve Corps.

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The corps will be similar to how the National Guard is deployed. The team will be made up of volunteer health care workers who are cross-trained to work together in emergencies.

A doctor, nurse and EMT in the state Legislature came up with the idea as a way of addressing burnout in health care from the coronavirus pandemic.

The reserve corps would use underworked medical professionals to help the overworked.

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“What this is going to do is make sure Colorado is better prepared, we’re going to have these health care workers cross-trained on how to deal with these critically ill patients, we’re going to look at making sure that we’re not so reliant on bringing in health care workers from out of the state of Colorado,” said Rep. Kyle Mullica, a Democrat representing Northglenn.

The new law also sets up a task force to work out details like who oversees all of this and provides the ongoing training.

Jennifer McRae