What’s DAT?

In order to keep the local Red Cross DAT (Disaster Action Team) members on their toes and prepared for the unexpected fire call or local emergency, this past Saturday, April 2, the volunteer team members got together for a DAT Drill.

Dick and Lynn Fernandez, two very dedicated Red Cross volunteers, created the drill to allow new and old DAT members to practice and use the skills that they acquired through Red Cross training.

Upon arriving at the training grounds, DAT members were separated into their teams and prepped for their eventful day. Teams were assigned various house fire scenarios, which covered several different emergency situations, and then out the scenarios as if they were actually responding to the fire call. Every scenario contained different circumstances, such as a house fire in a single family home, a fire in a multi-dwelling apartment, a family that owned pets, and a mobile home fire. During these scenarios teams were put to the test while experiencing all of the other factors that might occur in these situations. For instance, a “news team” showed up at the scene of the emergency and asking for on-camera interview about how they were helping the family.

During the drill, DAT members put themselves in the affected families shoes and showed compassion and understanding toward these “families” who just had a fire in their homes. The Red Cross DAT members are trained to help families in situations like these — not only logistically,  but mentally as well. The emotional support can be truly beneficial, especially when a family may have lost everything.

At the end of the day, a lot was accomplished and the members felt good about the drill. It really showed how prepared Red Cross volunteers are willing to give their time at a moments notice for any emergency that might come their way. If you are interested in volunteering and making a difference you can become a DAT member too!

Check out the video to hear Dick talk about what all went into the day’s events:

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