Disaster Services Jan-Feb 2011

From Disaster Services – John Cain & Carlene Sharples


Happy New Year to the world’s Greatest Volunteers! From all of us to all of you – may 2011 bring you good health and happiness – and may it NOT bring us any wildfires, hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, a plague of locust or pestilence (what is pestilence anyway? – I don’t know but I’m sure we don’t want it!!)

For those of you that missed it, our Holiday Party was great fun.  Good food, fun games and even a special carol for our Logistics team.  We had about a hundred (+ or -) volunteers attend plus members of the Board of Directors and staff.  We finished the evening with a visit from the Big Guy (Santa) bringing goodies and cheer.  The volunteers enjoyed the opportunity to have some social time with each other.

So you can plan ahead – the annual Volunteer Awards and Recognition Dinner will be held on Thursday evening, April 7th, 2011, at The Boy Scout Conference Center.  I am telling you this not only so you can plan ahead but also hoping that you will turn in your volunteer hours for 2010. It is very important to give us your hours – not only so we may recognize you properly, but because we receive funding based on the number of volunteers we have and the amount of hours you worked for us as volunteers. So PLEASE turn your hours into Staffing as soon as possible—no later than Jan. 15th for 2010.

The new Disaster Services Training Schedule for the first quarter of this year is now available and is part of this newsletter.  Please take a few moments and look it over.  Remember – all volunteers are required to take CPR/AED once a year and Standard First Aid every 3 years.  If you haven’t taken a course in several years, please consider taking it this year.  Courses are often updated and revamped – you might be surprised what has changed since you last took a course. For more information call the Training Department between 8:30 am to 12:00 noon weekdays.

This year we saw the second presentation of the course Neurophysiology & Drugs (Drugs & the Brain). The first course was given 2 years ago and was very informative for our volunteers that are often put in the position of having to deal with individuals under the influence of various drugs.  The current course covered the basics in the previous course plus “unfortunately”  the expanded number of drugs currently circulating.  Most of the individuals attending the class were amazed at the amount of information presented in the class.  They requested future classes allowed more time for the class and questions.  We were fortunate to have as an instructor, Tatyana Veysteyn, one of the top Addictions Counselors of New Jersey.

This next quarter we will present for the first time a workshop on wildfires and Red Cross responsibility and response.  This is a specialized training workshop and is appropriate for DAT and Mass Care members or anyone wanting to learn about working a wildfire job.

Please come one and all in your Red Cross shirt to our February 3rd Volunteer dinner meeting. We will take another Chapter photo that will include our “snowbird” volunteers.  This will be a great opportunity to show off how great we all look.  So I hope to see many of you at this dinner.

As we approach the New Year, it is appropriate for us to remind you that if you haven’t received your flu shot, please consider getting one immediately as we are now into flu season.   It is also a good time to check your immunization records and make sure you are up- to- date on your Tetanus vaccination.  This vaccination is only good for a ten-year period; thus, you need a vaccination every 10 years.  This is particularly important if you work in the DAT or Mass Care activities.

It’s time for the annual Health Status forms to be completed by all volunteers.  This is essential!!  If you do not complete the form, National will remove you from our rooster and put you in archives.  The reason National is now being so stringent on this matter is due to their agreement with FEMA.  The Red Cross must let FEMA know how much of a healthy Red Cross workforce is available to support a major disaster.  So complete the form and return it to us as soon as possible.

Thanks again to all of you for all you do! All the best to each of you in 2011!!!

John & Carlene



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