SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 News) The Utah Red Cross just got back from Las Vegas, where Rich Woodruff was part of a team dedicated to helping people affected. He joined Good Morning Utah with Brian Carlson to talk about their experience.
The day of the shooting, the Red Cross in Southern Nevada quickly began coordinating with local government agencies at the Emergency Operations Center.
At the same time, the Red Cross provided local hospitals with 450 units of blood to 13 hospitals to save lives.
Within minutes after the shooting, Red Cross responders from the local area rushed to support the community. More than 130 Red Cross responders are now on the ground bringing help and hope. Many of these workers bring experience from other mass casualty events such as the Boston Marathon Bombing, the Newtown School shooting, and the Pulse Nightclub shooting, among other tragedies.
The Red Cross has supported over 2,000 people with support from health and mental health professionals and spiritual care providers. These contacts have come through support at the Family Assistance Center, visiting people in their homes, visiting hospitals, and supporting community members at vigils and at blood drives.
The Red Cross is coordinating with our colleagues nationwide to ensure that any survivors, families of the deceased, and those seeking services who are not from the Las Vegas area are able to access support when they return home.
Trained Red Cross mental health professionals, spiritual care providers, and caseworkers are fanning out into the community to reach those affected by this tragedy.
Teams of Red Cross volunteers have been visiting the homes of people who were at the concert, and are not yet comfortable leaving home to seek services.
Red Cross workers are also visiting hospitals to provide comfort and services to the injured and their families. They have been seeing up to 40 people per day.
The Red Cross is sending trained mental health professionals and spiritual care providers to vigils, community gatherings, and blood drives.
This evening, the Red Cross, in partnership with the Canadian Red Cross and local government, is hand-delivering turkey dinners to survivors and families of the deceased in local hospitals and hotels to celebrate Canadian Thanksgiving.
Many members of the community are struggling to cope with this tragedy.
The Red Cross is reminding people to be patient with themselves and others; it’s common to have any number of temporary stress reactions such as anger, frustration and anxiety.
They’re telling people that events like this can cause feelings of uncertainty and anxiety since no one knows what could potentially happen next. They’re also saying that it’s okay to feel nervous and sad.
The Red Cross is distributing pocket guides of coping tips, particularly in places where people are gathering to remember the tragedy such as memorials, vigils, and blood drives.
Their team is educating on the coping process in interviews and news releases.
The Red Cross has been reminding people that children often are deeply affected by tragedies of this nature and providing ideas on how to lessen their fears.