SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) — American Red Cross of Utah staff and Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to multiple fires, helping dozens of displaced residents the past two weeks in cities across Utah, including two fires this past weekend in Magna. Additional Disaster Action Team members are needed to ensure there are always enough trained Red Cross volunteers ready to answer the call when disasters strike.
“We’ve been managing another extremely busy disaster season, and it’s critical to have a trained and ready volunteer workforce to make sure we can provide relief at a moment’s notice – every day,” said Heidi Ruster, Chief Executive Officer of the American Red Cross Utah/Nevada Region. “That’s why we are always in need of additional Disaster Action Team volunteers to help support the community during emergencies.”
In addition to the fires in Magna, Disaster Action Team volunteers responded to fires in Salt Lake City, Layton, Coalville, Ogden, and Goshen, tending to the immediate needs of the displaced residents, including helping provide access to safe lodging.
“Last week illustrates how important these specialized volunteers are to this community,” Ruster said. “They provide immediate compassion and care when it is needed most. Without the Red Cross and its volunteers, these 22 displaced residents may not have gotten the support they needed.”
Additional volunteer opportunities are available
The need for Red Cross of Utah volunteers remains critical through the summer and the rest of the year. Here are three teams looking to grow now:
• Support the team that helps the community during emergencies
Join the Disaster Action Team to help ensure there is always someone ready to answer the call when a disaster strikes. To learn more about volunteering for the Disaster Action Team, visit redcross.org/volunteer.
The Red Cross provides training for Disaster Action Team volunteers
After initial training, volunteers can take shifts that may include responding to emergencies within two hours, night or day, rain or shine, either on the scene or coordinating remotely to provide immediate compassion and care. With experience and further training, volunteers can take on leadership and response coordination roles to have a wider impact and be eligible for deployment to large scale emergencies/disasters in Utah and other parts of the country.
• Support the collection of lifesaving blood
In just a few hours per month, a volunteer can help save countless lives by joining the Blood Donor Ambassadors. These volunteers check blood donors into their appointments, answer questions, and give out post donation snacks. Training is easy and online. Learn more here.
• Join the team that drives blood donations to hospitals for patients in need
There is immediate need in Salt Lake City for volunteer Transportation Specialists, who deliver life-saving blood products from Red Cross distribution facilities to hospitals, using a Red Cross-owned vehicle. Learn more here.
To learn more about these and other Red Cross volunteer opportunities, please visit redcross.org/volunteer.
About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds, and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members, and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or CruzRojaAmericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.