For more information, please go to the Kansas Disaster Training Institute website.
For more information, please go to the Kansas Disaster Training Institute website.
Thanks to Hunky Husband for sending me the link to the following post!
BNSF is playing a significant role in returning Red Cross emergency response vehicles (ERVs) to their home states after the vehicles were used to assist in the Northeast following November’s Superstorm Sandy. ERVs carry relief items such as food, shovels, tarps, rakes and more.
Late-season Hurricane Sandy – also called Superstorm Sandy -- swept through the Caribbean and up the East Coast, leaving dozens dead, thousands homeless and millions without power. To assist with the recovery efforts, the Red Cross deployed ERVs from all over of the United States.
To read the rest of the article, click on the link in the header.
From a post on FDNN (Fire Department Network Neighborhood):
The American Red Cross' Emergency Response Vehicles, or ERV's, are designed to deploy within 24 hours and are sent to anything from large disasters, such as Hurricane Katrina, to a house fire in a local neighborhood. "The Red Cross has approximately 150-200 in the fleet, and they're custodial to several chapters throughout the country," stated Director of Response for the Inland Empire Chapter of the Red Cross, Martin Ayala.
ERV's are all designed to carry prepared meals and liquid hydration. Meals are loaded into large containers that can accommodate hot or cold food. Ayala claimed that a vehicle is capable of carrying up to 1,000 meals.
"The hydration comes in several ways. It comes in pre-made liquid hydration or bottled waters, and we carry a unit for every meal that we plan to serve," added Ayala. At a disaster site, clients will come up to a truck and accept food and beverage through the truck's window.
Chests can be stacked on both sides of the truck, as well as in the middle, if necessary. Ayala explained, "There's hydration containers here too, whether it's water or some other type of liquid being provided."
There are extra seats in the ERV to be used as needed, including a DOT sanctioned jumper seat, along with two others. "If we go out to an area that hasn't seen the Red Cross in quite some time, folks that may do damage assessment or disaster assessment can ride in the vehicle, or a nurse, if we know that there's issues out in the community," Ayala said.
California's Inland Empire Chapter vehicle, in particular, responds locally to more than 100 incidents per year and served on the 2007 Wildfires for more than 3 months.
For more information of the American Red Cross and Emergency Response Vehicles, please visit www.redcross.org.
Contributors to This Story
Barbara Brooks - Video Report
Ann Zevely- Camera/Editor
Renee Marquart - Text Story
Author:B. Brooks, A. Zevely, R. Marquart
Millions of people have gone through a spectrum of experiences during the passage of Superstorm Sandy, and most are still suffering at least some effects from it: Some have been stoic, some have been belligerent, some have gone from one extreme to another - and, sometimes, back. As we are all human beings, we should be able to understand that we don't all have the same resources (mental or physical) going into a disaster and that the resources/experiences that each person has/has had will play a huge role in how s/he responds to personal disaster. Let's look at some of the factors affecting disaster response and recovery.
Emergency Management (EM) Perspective:
Within the EM community, it is understood that there is certain inertias built into any disaster response system- especially when the disaster is due to a developing/changing weather system. There are huge lags built into any system that requires millions of dollars worth of property and thousands of people to cooperate in getting assistance where it is needed. The first lag is to know where, when, what, and the magnitude of the disastrous event. Certain preparations can be made.
It behooves all of the governmental units and most of the non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that normal respond to disasters to keep track of the weather. Speaking from personal knowledge, as a volunteer government liaison with The American Red Cross, I can vouch that "my" governmental units - county (Sedgwick), state (Kansas), and federal (FEMA/Homeland Security) EM folks - and "my" Red Cross units - chapter (Midway-Kansas), State Disaster Officer (Brenda Blackmore), and National (Disaster Operations Center in Washington DC) Disaster Services folks are constantly tracking the weather. Personally? I don't have to. Hunky Husband, as a volunteer operations manager, does that for me. Anyone who followed Sandy's progress, at all, knows that while the US Weather Service (and other weather services) started alerting the public to the confluence of weather systems that was upcoming well ahead of time. However, even they did not know exactly where, what, when things would happen. Even they were surprised by the magnitude of the waves that inundated the NY/NJ area. But...they kept the public updated to the best of human capabilities.
So...what was happening to prepare for Sandy? Much! Some of which was unknown to the general public (not from secrecy, but because they were not involved in those elements of disaster response).
That I know about, Red Cross started recruiting volunteers to go to the NY/PA area - into areas that were considered to be safe during the projected storm passage - to arrive ahead of Sandy - to be pre-placed. As part of my local volunteer efforts include providing backup to Red Cross employees who recruit and dispatch volunteers assigned to disaster response efforts, I started receiving emails concerning recruiting as early as October 24 - a "heads up" to check that each of us had access to all of the nation-wide computer systems (password expirations happen!) that we would need to use, and that we could expect to start recruiting shortly - as soon as we knew more about Sandy's probable effects. On October 25, had we been available, Hunky Husband would have been sent to Pittsburgh PA and I would most probably have been sent to NY. Unfortunately, HH was in Topeka KS teaching a Red Cross class (training instructors of Disaster Services courses and mentoring another instructor to qualify her to teach it on her own) and had not yet voted. HH was out. (BTW: HH had been pre-placed before Katrina hit.) I was/am having acute sciatica. I was out! Midway-Kansas Chapter's first volunteers were recruited late on the 26th and caught a plane to Albany NY the next day. The chapter, and the region for which the chapter is responsible (about 2/3 of the state), continued to deploy volunteers to work on three of the nine Disaster Response Operations (for DE/MN, VA, WV, PA, NJ, NY, NC, PR, CT/RI) to respond to Sandy as long as they could be expected to land at their destinations by Noon October 27 (Sunday).
As is the case for any organization that depends upon computers at all, the American Red Cross must update its computer systems every few years. It is now in the throws of aggregating several (national, local, and regional) databases into a Super-Datenbank. The Super Database is called the Volunteer Connection (VC). At a later date, Blood Services people will be included.
Although I have, for a few years, been an administrator of the Midway-Kansas Chapter's part of the national Disaster Services Human Resources databank and of a couple of other databases that have been used (to enroll volunteers in classes, print completion certificates, track volunteer hours, track donations), I was not involved in the program to switch to the VC - not until 6/21/2012, that is. At that time, our new Manager of Disaster Response and Planning (Bryan) asked that I get involved on behalf of his department.
There is one employee (Sheri) who is responsible for gathering and cleaning up data from each department - Family Services (including Medical Transportation, Casework, and Services to the Armed Forces) , Disaster Services, Public Health & Safety Services, Good Neighbor Nutrition Program, and Financial Services. Fortunately, although Disaster Services includes more volunteers than all of the other departments added together, the Disaster Services Human Resources DSHR) database makes it simpler to gather most of the required data than is the case for other departments. The only data that cannot be downloaded from the DSHR system are the user names that volunteers use to access their accounts on the SABA training management system and the number of volunteer hours that each volunteer has expended during 2012, 2011, and all years prior to 2011 as a lump sum.
I wrote that most of the data can be downloaded from the DSHR system. However, some of the required data are not included in the reports that I, myself, can generate. The ongoing storms and wildfires of late June kept the employee who can generate custom reports from the DSHR system pretty busy for a while; but, on 7/5/2012, he (Charlie) fulfilled my request for a custom data run within six hours of receiving my request (How's that for service?! And Charlie is responsible for 8-12 states!)
In addition to volunteering to "take care of" the Disaster Services volunteers from the Wichita Region (three community chapters plus the Midway-Kansas Chapter), I volunteered to clean up the Midway-Kansas Chapter volunteers from the other departments - adding the volunteer hours for those whose hours had been accumulated in one of the databases to which I have access.
For the past couple of weeks, then, I have been:
1) Adding the county to each person's address (for about 550 people)
2) Correcting spelling of towns, counties (very few needed it)
3) Making street addresses conform (except for use of block lettering) to USPS preferences [no punctuation, use of standard abbreviations for directions (E, W, N, S) and streets (St, Rd, Cir, Dr, Terr), converting ZIP codes that had been input as text into numbers, and splitting off secondary information (Apt #, Lot #, Suite #) into a separate column (for about 400 people)
4) Changing people's nicknames to official names, where they could be determined, and placing the preferred name into a separate column (for about 150 people)
5) Removing hidden blanks from name listings (for about 150 people) - hidden blanks make sorting really wonky in an Excel spreadsheet!
6) Looking up usernames for the training management system and copying into the data files (for about 750 people)
7) Looking up, adding up, and inserting volunteer hours for 2012, for 2011, and for all years prior to 2011 into the spreadsheets (for about 400 people)
8) Assuring uniformity among the 10 worksheets in which the data are contained [ordering columns the same, inserting uniform headers on all worksheets, converting to the same font/size/format]
As of Thursday, I had completed all of the above and turned in the files to Sheri & Bryan. Unless called upon, again, I have finished my tasking. Whew! It feels good.
Although the first 72 hours of any disaster response are always intense for those who live near the disaster, somehow the team pulls it all together. By the time American Red Cross (ARC) volunteers from more distant places start arriving by car or plane, the organization and work schedules are starting to gel. If it weren't for the inevitable sleepless nights and thinking about the impact that the disaster has had on other people's lives, disaster response would be almost fun by that time.
On the form with the first requests for additional personnel appeared a request for a government operations manager. Huh? I thought that I was one of those. Well...yes, I am; but, with Hunky Husband's being the director of the operation, I cannot report to him. ARC is like most organizations that way. Our regional chapter is fortunate to have a few other volunteers who have the experience and knowledge to do what I do. Unfortunately, at the moment, they were not available. Thus, the plan was for me to turn over the government operations management to someone from another chapter and, myself, work as a service associate in the records keeping arena. The plan was all well and good; however, through some fluke, the volunteer who was sent to manage government operations had never, in fact, served in government operations and had no practical knowledge of how to perform the duties of that position. So...we changed gears and re-grouped.
Fortunately, Hunky Husband lucked out. The person who was brought in to be his Deputy Director (DD) is the Emergency Services Director of the Greater Kansas City Chapter - a person with whom we had previously worked on various disasters and one in whom both HH and I had complete confidence. We finessed the issue of the Government Operations Manager's not reporting to the Director by having me report to the DD. All was well in our world. As it all worked out, I was able to mentor the government operations volunteer for a few days - a definite plus because he definitely has the background and temperament to make a great government operations person. Hooray! We can always use more good ones.
Actually, as the DD said on my performance evaluation, "This disaster was no challenge for [Cop Car's] capabilities." Thus, I had the time and opportunity to support other activities where they didn't really need another person, but, they could surely use just a bit of help. I spent most of the rest of my assignment drawing up organization charts, providing data input for Disaster Assessment Manager, and such small "chores". Although I was happy to be released from the operation, it was definitely a great assignment for me. Now, although I wish no ill to anyone, I am ready for the next disaster that comes my way.
Officially, we used 98 ARC personnel on the disaster response operation. However, in researching through our records, I found at least 10 more volunteers than had appeared in our counts. See? There is always one more thing to be done.
4/15/2012 2:00am - 4.5 hours following tornado through the Wichita area
The Sedgwick County (SC) Emergency Manager announced to those of us in the SC Emergency Operation Center that operations would be 24/7 until further notice - that we needed to make arrangements for alternate staffing. As I had arranged with Wichita Transit to transport people from where they had congregated in Oaklawn to the American Red Cross (ARC) shelter, and as at that point my day had already been 21 hours long, I chose to leave my contact information at my work station and on the communal electronic log to try to catch a couple of hours of sleep. Before heading home, I stopped into the ARC Midway-Kansas Chapter offices to exchange information with the management team in person. It was agreed that I would return to the SC EOC no later than 8:00am and that the staffing person would find another government liaison to relieve me from Noon until 8:00pm. Sounded good!
On the way home I took another (very short) detour to visit the ARC shelter that was to open by 3:00am in the Derby Recreation Center (DRC). Air mattresses were still being inflated when I arrived, but no clients had arrived. I called the Wichita Transit guy to check on status of the bus(es). My contact said that three buses were on their way, expected to arrive in about 16 minutes. I told him that I would await their arrival.
In the mean time, two spontaneous volunteers arrived, wishing to help at the shelter. I carefully explained to them that we had to assure that any volunteer who worked with ARC clients had been subjected to a background check. One of the spontaneous volunteers said that he had been in ARC in Texas and had just moved to the Derby area. I asked to see his ARC identification badge. When he could not produce that, I asked for his identification number. Well...he wasn't sure that they had issued him one. I escorted the two out of the shelter telling them that if they wished to pursue the matter they should come to the MWK Chapter offices on Monday. We could arrange to transfer membership from Texas to Kansas. (People want to help but ARC, and other reputable volunteer organizations, must take great care to protect the clients to whom services are rendered.) The buses eventually arrived and, after working a couple of other minor issues with the shelter team, I came on home. (I'm not sure that the one hour of sleep that I managed to get was worth the driving to get it!)
At 11:00am, my relief arrived. After spending an hour with him showing him the ropes and introducing him around, I returned home, agreeing to call him at 7:00pm to check whether I should be back at 8:00pm or 9:00pm - according to how he was doing. As it evolved, it made no difference. The EOC was "stood down" at 5:00pm; thus, service in that venue had been completed. By the time I saw Hunky Husband at about 6:00pm, it seemed like three days had passed; but, in fact, it had only been 22.5 hours since the tornado had hit!.
As news started trickling in, it seemed that (unlike the case in neighboring Oklahoma) no fatalities had been incurred by the 97 tornadoes reported in Kansas. Each of the three American Red Cross (ARC) Community Chapters (North Central Kansas, Reno County, and Garden City Area Chapters) and the Midway-Kansas Regional Chapter had been prepared for the storms and immediately set to work. Here in the Wichita area, it quickly became apparent that if sheltering and feeding would be required, the largest need would be in a community to the south of Wichita, Oaklawn (an improvement district rather than an incorporated city). It would be the locus of need - particularly because it became known that Pinaire Mobile Home Park (100-150 units) at the southern edge of Oaklawn had been hit. It would take a while, however, to determine just what damage had been done.
As cell towers were down in the Oaklawn area and as the Oaklawn area is marked by populations that are ethnically diverse (with residents whose families had come to the USA from one of several Southeast Asian countries, from predominately Spanish-speaking countries, or from Africa) and economically challenged, communications (few had computer access or land-line telephones) were spotty and difficult. In the Sedgwick County Emergency Operation Center (SC EOC) I was being told that there were about 100 survivors congregated at a local community center (it wasn't clear whether it was at the Oaklawn Community Center or at the Oaklawn Activity Center for some time) who needed sheltering. A Red Cross shelter team quickly began to look for an appropriate place to set up at least one shelter.
Buildings considered for sheltering were those that had at earlier dates been evaluated and for which tentative agreements were already in place. (After a disaster strikes is a difficult time to try to start from scratch in finding a building, evaluating it, and drawing up agreements.) In this case, the Derby Recreation Center (DRC), about 1.5 miles from our home, seemed like a good choice. It was toured, jointly, by Red Cross shelter workers and those responsible for the DRC, and the legal agreement finalized. The shelter would be opened by 3:00am. Wichita Transit volunteered to send buses to pick up Oaklawn's survivors who needed transportation to the shelter. In all, only 31 people chose to go to the shelter. Of those, several took their pets with them on the bus and were met at the DRC by Sedgwick County Animal Response Team members who took their pets to a temporary shelter in Wichita.
It wasn't for about 60 hours that the American Red Cross (ARC) workers were able to access Pinaire Mobile Home Park and the southern part of Oaklawn. Debris-clogged strees, road closures by the civil authorities, and security measures taken to protect the interests of the residents of the area prevented The Salvation Army's (TSA) and ARC's entry. Thus, the true level of damage lay hidden from the Red Cross Disaster Relief Operation (DRO) management team. Why is access important? Because one of the first things a DRO must determine is the extent of the disaster in order to know how many workers and supplies and budget are required to successfully provide services to the survivors of the disaster. Once ARC's Disaster Assessment team was able to go into the area, it became apparent that the operation would be larger than had appeared - help from outside Wichita, even from outside Kansas, would be required. National Headquarters agreed and the call went out to Red Cross workers who lived within driving distance and who were experienced, qualified, and willing to serve in one of the positions that needed filling.
Thus began to unfold the Red Cross response to what was dubbed the Kansas 4/12 TOR disaster.
For photos of cleanup efforts in Oaklawn: The Wichita Eagle's Cleanup begins in Wichita (Day 2, Part 1) and Cleanup begins in Wichita (Day 2, Part 2) .
Note that the header isn't really true since most of the photos are not from inside the city of Wichita. Day 2, Part 2 contains, mostly, photos of Pinaire Mobile Home Park.
For days, Hunky Husband (HH) and other American Red Cross (ARC) folks - plus the general population through news media - had been receiving information from the National Weather Service (NWS) indicating very high probability of up-coming severe weather. More than 24 hours (closer to 48 hours) before the expected event, NWS broke precedence by issuing an early warning that we were to receive dangerous storms that would include many tornadoes - some life-threatening. The emergency management officials (through email, etc) and news media were vigilant in spreading the news.
On Friday (4/13/2012), HH was asked by the Chief Executive Officer to fill in for the Midway-Kansas (MWK) Chapter's Regional/Chapter Emergency Services Director, which employee post has been vacant for a few weeks. HH, the Chapter's executives, the Disaster Specialist (an employee), and key leadership volunteers put together a team of employees and volunteers who would respond to whatever was thrown our way. My assignment was to go to the Sedgwick County Emergency Management Center (SC EOC) in Wichita to coordinate with governmental and non-governmental organizations that are activated in emergencies. HH would be directing the ARC response.
On Saturday, 4/14/2012, at about 2:00pm, I happened to tune into my favored local TV. They had suspended their regular programming, commercials, and promotional announcements to provide full-time weather/news/safety advice concerning the advancing storms. The other local TV channels may well have been giving similar coverage. I know that the cable TV weather channel had a team at the NWS site on the western edge of Wichita's Mid-Continent Airport.
Immediately, I established email contact with the ARC Special Representative (SR) to FEMA Region VII (whose area comprises Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, and Nebraska). Within the next 5+ hours, I received at least 40 emails from her - that's how actively we were in contact. We exchanged information until about 10:00pm, at which time I removed a couple of HH's (empty) suitcases from and packed our hidey hole (a small closet underneath the basement stairs) with: hi-top leather boots (for me), granola-type bars, a gallon jug of water, two smaller bottles of water, a crow-bar, hammer, large flashlight, tiny LED flash, crank-powered radio, and my office bag. Hunky Husband packed his emergency kit and stashed it. Then, I fired my "old" computer up that is in the basement and re-established contact with SR. At 10:25, I left the computer running; but adjourned to Hunky Husband's den (the hidey-hole door is inside his den) to watch the TV coverage.
By 10:35, it became evident that the nearest tornado (97 tornadoes were reported in Kansas that night) had hit across the river to the west of us, and north of us - about 4 or 5 miles NNW of us - and was continuing north and eastward from there - across the river, through Spirit (used to be Boeing) and McConnell AFB, and on northeastward through the eastern edge of Wichita/western edge of Andover. The graphic, below, put out by Sedgwick County Emergency Management (SCEM) shows the path that, early on, the tornado was believed to have taken.
By 10:50pm, both Hunky Husband's and my cell phones were ringing. SCEM was contacting us to let us know that the Sedgwick County Emergency Operation Center (SC EOC) was being activated and that the Red Cross should send a representative. Rapidly, I changed clothes, grabbed my office bag, and headed out. Hunky Husband was right behind me, heading for the MWK Chapter offices. For the path that I chose to drive, my distance to the SC EOC was about 15 miles. For the path that he chose, HH's distance to the Midway-Kansas Chapter offices should have been about 14 miles. Other than the traffic control light that is about 3/4-mile from our house, there were no working traffic control lights for the first 10 miles that I drove - nor did homes and businesses have power along my route.
When I arrived at the SC EOC, I called HH (expecting him to be at the chapter) to let him know that I had arrived safely. He was sitting in stop-and-go traffic, about two miles east of the route that he had thought that he would take, having been forced to divert by road closures. The next 15 hours went by quickly as we, in the SC EOC, coordinated the response to the local tornado. News about the event may be found on the American Red Cross Midway-Kansas Chapter website. As you can see, the first entry onto the website was time stamped at 10:37pm - seconds following the report of the tornado's touching down.
Seventy-eight aerial photos of the damage caused in the Wichita area may be found on The Wichita Eagle website. Photograph 18 is of the building in which HH spent many years working for Boeing and in which I spent nearly two years. It is known, locally, as the admin building. In fact, the third floor of the building was filled by engineering and program marketing.
Just before Hunky Husband left on assignment to Richmond VA for the American Red Cross, the local newspaper interviewed us. The purpose of the interview was to encourage others in our town to take the training that our Red Cross Chapter is offering this month and to become a Disaster Services volunteer. The interview appeared in their paper a few days ago. The reporter sent me an electronic copy of, and gave me permission to use, a photo that she snapped of HH and me in her office. (I have cropped the photo to omit the names on our name tags.) The photo was taken by Linda Stinnett of the Derby Informer.
Yes, I know that I am wearing the same outfit as in my photo in the left sidebar that was taken two or three years ago. The outfit is becoming threadbare (I turned the collar on the shirt about a year ago - when it was merely 10 or 15 years old) but is one of my favorites!
Ms Stinnett had asked if we could supply a photo of HH and me working together, on a Red Cross assignment. We had to explain to her that it is against company policy for one spouse to work for another which means, since HH is "always" operations director, it is difficult for me to work on the same disaster. (In fact, in the types of assignments that I go on, I rarely see any other Red Cross workers. I see government and other non-governmental organization folks.)
By Linda Stinnett
This past week Chuck Schneider and his wife, Evelyn Schall, prepared to talk about their history as Red Cross volunteers to help recruit other volunteers.
As in all things which involve disasters, Schneider’s status was in flux. He was already on alert for the next pending disaster – Hurricane Irene – and was making preparations to leave for the East Coast.
The couple, both retired from aircraft manufacturing companies, understand their lives could change with a given moment.
Most recently, Schneider led the Red Cross Disaster Relief efforts in Joplin, Mo. All-in-all he has worked with 48 different disasters, most out of state. He is an assistant director in operations management, which typically means he is in charge.
"I direct all except the Katrinas," he said.
Schall serves as a liaison between government organizations and the Red Cross. While she is behind the scenes, she doesn’t work the same disasters as her husband.
"Company policy. I won’t work for my husband," she said with a laugh.
In fact, the one time they did work at the same disaster, there were extenuating circumstances and the staff ended up sleeping under their desks for a night or so. Again, she laughs and said she told him she can’t work in those circumstances.
Both are serious about their volunteer work, though. They understand it may mean long hours and extenuating circumstances. Both find it rewarding work.
Schneider was the first to volunteer. He retired as an engineer at Boeing in 1993 and said for a few years he played a lot of golf and took several university courses.
"I was enjoying playing golf three days a week," he said. "I’m the kind of person who likes to learn about different things."
Then, in 1998, he saw a blurb in the newspaper about a "damage assessment" course through the Red Cross and he decided to take it. Within two weeks of the course, he was in Arkansas City, helping when part of the city flooded.
"After that I started taking classes and I haven’t stopped," he said.
He did not start in his current job. However, his Boeing job gave him the abilities which eventually led to the title – organizational and people skills.
"That’s exactly what you need when a disaster strikes," he said. "I was familiar at making sense out of something that chaotic."
When he volunteered, Schall was pleased. She said she first remembers being in elementary school and thinking of the Red Cross as a premier organization. With World War II under way, she saw the Junior Red Cross members rolling bandages and doing other things to help with the war effort.
"I was always impressed by them," she said.
So, about a year after she retired in 2004, she, too, volunteered. She works one or two days each week in the Wichita office in addition to serving as a government liaison.
"The Red Cross is over 90 percent volunteers," Schneider said. "The paid staff is the minority."
This year Schall has been called to disaster locations two times. Schneider three times. For the two years previous, he was only called one time each year; in the years before that he was called quite a few times.
The couple have missed some holidays due to disaster efforts. However, they said the Red Cross allows them to take time off and some flexibility with what the do.
Schneider also said that he is a Type A personality which strives on stress, but when he returns from a disaster site he does a "crash and burn" for three to four days. In that time, he catches up on rest and relaxes.
While both have high stress jobs when they volunteer, they remind others that most of the Red Cross’ work is done right in the community and do not require large commitments of time.
"Most of the Red Cross responses are to small fires," Schall said.
They also said people are not pushed to jobs for which they do not have adequate training. And, they believe the jobs which attract most volunteers are those which utilize people to drive forklifts and the emergency response vehicles.
"It’s fun," Schall said. "You get to meet a lot of nice folks ... and it gives you something to get up in the morning for."
photo by Linda Stinnett
Chuck Schneider (left) and Evelyn Schall are Red Cross volunteers who have found rewards in their work with the organization.