The Corsicana branch of the American Red Cross recently released statistics for services it provided in Ellis and Navarro counties from July 1, 2006, to June 30, 2007.
“We have a small group of volunteers called the disaster action team who lives between Ennis and Midlothian,” emergency services specialist Shelly Campbell said. “They respond to the disaster-related needs of citizens in the Ellis County communities on a daily basis. They’re dedicated volunteers that respond day or night to help a neighbor in their time of need. In both counties, we have six volunteers on the DAT, but I have a total of 41 volunteers all together.”
According to a report, the number of people assisted after a home fire or flooding (city or area, fire assists, flooding assists):
Ennis - 55, 40 Midlothian - 15, 17 Red Oak - 42, 3 Waxahachie - 66, 17 Glenn Heights - 4, 0 Palmer - 7, 2 Ferris - 11, 0 Ellis County - 8, 6 Corsicana - 72, 21 Navarro County - 83, 4
The common threats of disaster/emergencies across the two counties are residential fires and weather-related emergencies such as tornadoes and flooding, according to the Red Cross’ information.
“Volunteers are our work force that stands ready 365 days per year to respond to emergencies and deliver family emergency preparedness information before disaster occurs,” Campbell said. “I only have 41 volunteers now but I am just ecstatic that a small group of volunteers has worked so hard in one year to help their friends and neighbors in their community. They respond to alerts from the local fire departments to give support to victims including assistance in obtaining immediate shelter, clothing and food.”
Campbell said she is making preparations to conduct training courses in Ellis County in September for new volunteers who are interested in joining the Red Cross team.
The courses include “Fulfilling our Mission: Translating Your Compassion into Community Action” offered from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 10 at the Red Oak Fire Department training room. The purpose of this course is to enable participants to translate their care and compassion into community action through a uniform message.
The mass care overview course will be offered from 6-9 p.m. Sept. 17 at the Red Oak Fire Department training room. The purpose of this basic level disaster services training is to provide an overview of the activities performed by the mass care group in support of a disaster relief operation.
The disaster action team workshop will be offered from 6-10 p.m. Sept. 19 at the Waxahachie Fire Department training room. This workshop prepares individuals to become part of the DAT, which responds to local disasters and includes information on disaster vehicles, communication equipment and necessary paperwork.
“We are so grateful that the Red Oak Fire Departments and the Waxahachie Fire Departments were generous enough to donate their facilities for the use of the Red Cross disaster training,” Campbell said. “We really appreciate that.”
The training allows volunteers to serve in disasters beyond their local county.
“When these volunteers take these basic-level classes, not only do they respond to local disasters, but they are a part of disaster services human resources nationwide,” Campbell said. “After completing this training and responding locally, volunteers are capable of delivering services both in their home county or on the national level. This is how a volunteer learns to be a part of the national relief services by first learning in their own county.”
Volunteers in Ellis County provide mutual aid to neighbors in Dallas County and were a major contribution to relief efforts during the city of Gainesville’s flooding.
Campbell commended the volunteers who traveled to Gainesville, saying, “Our new volunteers responded well and provided mass care to those flood victims in Gainesville.”
Anyone interested in volunteering for the Red Cross in Ellis County can attend the meetings, which are held from 7-8:30 p.m. the third Thursday of each month at Busy B’s Bakery, located at 1000 E. Main St. in Midlothian.
In Navarro County, meetings are held from 7-8:30 p.m. at Napoli’s Restaurant, located at 111 E. Collin St. in Corsicana.
“Newcomers are welcomed and a person can also serve their community through our adopt-a-soldier program, through teaching first aid courses, CPR courses, babysitting courses and also supporting the Sewers Club,” Campbell said. “Volunteers are being sought to instruct these life-saving skills and to support their community and military families.”
More than 4.1 million people are served through the Red Cross’ 12-county service area that includes Collin, Dallas, Delta, Denton, Ellis, Hopkins, Hunt, Kaufman, Navarro, Rains, Rockwall and Van Zandt counties.
For more information about Red Cross, visit www.redcrossdallas.org. For more information on volunteering, contact Campbell at (903) 874-4551 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
E-mail Chicarra at email@example.com