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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Take a Peek into What the Red Cross Does #Allin1Day

By Patricia Billinger
What is the Red Cross up to when we're not responding to massive disasters? Let’s take a peek behind the curtain at what the Red Cross does #Allin1Day. Here’s a snapshot of what really happened on a single day last week in the Colorado & Wyoming Region:

Wednesday, May 20
6:50 a.m. – Sandy Hill answers her phone. There’s a multi-family fire at an apartment complex in Fort Collins, and 24 people are displaced. Sandy’s a volunteer disaster action team (DAT) captain. She gathers her kit, calls several other team members, and heads to the scene. There, her team meets with the residents, fire department, and the managers of the apartment complex. They’re able to determine that the complex can provide housing for the families whose homes were burned in the fire or damaged by the roof collapse and water damage. Sandy and her team connect the residents with other, individualized needs like clothing, food, and help replacing medications.

9 a.m. – Caretakers at Standard Pacific Homes  gather at their facility in Greenwood Village to train in CPR, First Aid and AED skills so they can respond to emergencies at their facility. A Red Cross instructor came to them to train them on site as part of our Full Service program.
CPR training includes how to help someone who is choking
- a handy skill to have at a facility where residents
are more likely to choke on their food.

10 a.m. – Red Cross Disaster leaders are monitoring minor flooding in multiple counties in Colorado, particularly along the Platte River near Sterling. Volunteers Dana Hoffman, Jason O’Brien and John Miller roll out a new tool enabling Red Cross responders to be aware of the current threat analysis so they can prepare and respond accordingly.

11 a.m. – Volunteers and staff in the field of logistics wrap up an important meeting about inventory control: just like any large business, the Red Cross needs to have a clear and efficient way to keep track of and coordinate the movement of supplies – things like cots, blankets and water bottles that we need to be able to move en masse quickly when disaster strikes. This meeting involves the Civil Air Patrol in developing a strategic partnership.
Just like a large business, the Red Cross must have
efficient systems in place to track and move supplies.

Noon Suzanne Ghais takes the podium for the monthly International Services Lunch and Learn in Denver. Suzanne has performed extensive research into international conflict resolution, and she addresses myths and facts about war, conflict and peace processes to educate a small crowd of Red Cross workers and members of the public about the complicated topic of conflict resolution. The international Red Cross played a pivotal role in developing the Geneva Conventions that govern the “rules of war” and protect noncombatants. The International Committee of the Red Cross continues to work to help and protect people affected by armed conflict.
Suzanne Ghais addressed facts and myths
about conflict and conflict resolution.

12:30 p.m. – George Sullivan, Red Cross preparedness lead for the Southwest and Rocky Mountain division, coordinates Red Cross chapters throughout the division for a massive, multi-state home fire preparedness campaign on July 16 in partnership with Smith’s food and drug, a subsidiary of Kroger. Employees from Smith’s will volunteer with the Red Cross on July 16 going door-to-door to install lifesaving smoke alarms and educate residents about fire safety – including in Wyoming.

2 p.m. – Local Red Cross workers who deployed to Texas and Oklahoma to provide disaster relief are only about halfway through their 12-hour day. When deployed on disasters, Red Cross staff work long, hard – but rewarding – hours. They perform a wide variety of duties, from staffing shelters and delivering food and supplies to working behind the scenes to provide leadership, organization, logistics and IT support.
Colorado & Wyoming workers deployed to assist
with a widespread disaster relief operation in Texas.

5 p.m. – Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces volunteers perform outreach to members of the B Company, 299th Brigade Engineer Battalion and their spouses at Fort Carson. Our volunteers want to ensure members of the battalion and their spouses know what Red Cross services are available to them and how to get help from the Red Cross.

6 p.m. – Instructor Juli Renny welcomes 11 everyday people to her Adult and Pediatric CPR, First Aid and AED course. The people in her class may be taking the training because they need it for work, or they’re new parents or grandparents, or because they care for children and want to know what to do in an emergency. No one wants to use the skills they learn in class, but we have plenty of stories of everyday people who became heroes because they used their training to save a life.

Whew, that’s a lot! And none of those was a major disaster. Want to support our work and the ongoing efforts of the Red Cross in your community? Join us on June 2 for the national Day of Giving! You can even schedule your gift now: www.redcross.org/givingday.

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