Ahead of wildfire season, Red Cross needs local volunteers due to COVID-19

Experts say we are in for a busy wildfire season and the American Red Cross needs volunteers to help in our community.

“The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur. In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community,” said Sean Mahoney, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Southern California Region. “Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our region.”

Full information on volunteer opportunities is available here.

SHELTER HELP NEEDED There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, we have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for our workforce. We need volunteers to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those we serve. We have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

HEALTH SERVICES SUPPORT NEEDED If you are an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license, the Red Cross needs your support. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents may also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks. Roles are also available for Certified Nursing Assistants, Certified Home Health Aides, student nurses and medical students. We need volunteers who can provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters. This could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.

BIOMEDICAL SERVICES HELP NEEDED The Red Cross is seeking Blood Donor Ambassadors and Blood Transportation Specialists to continue delivering services to our communities. Blood Donor Ambassador volunteers welcome visitors to Red Cross facilities or blood drives and take their temperature before they enter. There is also a high-priority need for Transportation Specialists to help deliver blood from Red Cross facilities to local hospitals.

FOR THOSE INTERESTED IN VOLUNTEERING If you are interested in helping our community should a disaster occur, please visit redcross.org/volunteertoday.

Be sure to review the CDC guidance for people who are at higher risk for severe illness, consult your health care provider and follow local guidance. Our number one priority is the health and safety of our employees, volunteers and the people we serve.

This article was released by the American Red Cross.

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