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Red Cross Disaster Training Institute Set for Jan. 22 – Feb. 5

It’s Disaster Institute Time!  Want to learn how to run a shelter or what is involved with disaster assessment?  These are just 2 of the classes being offered during our January Disaster Institute which runs from January 22nd until February 5th.  This is a great opportunity to find out what other positions do and learn a new skill.   To look at the offerings and sign up for a class go to volunteer connection and from the “my shifts’ tab scroll down to disaster training.


You can also download the schedule. 2015 Winter Disaster Training Institute Schedule_v4


If you’re not a Red Cross volunteer yet, call Christina Aberle at 702-531-0228 or email her at Christina.Aberle@redcross.org






Next Generation Emergency Response Vehicle Visits Southern Nevada Chapter for Testing

The American Red Cross has chosen the Southern Nevada chapter to participate along with almost two dozen other chapters in testing a new prototype Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV). It arrived here Friday, and is being tested by a team of ERV volunteers during this week to see how the advanced innovations hold up to our work in the field. For an up close and personal peek at what’s coming to the future of the Red Cross, everyone is invited to the Chapter office at 1771 E. Flamingo Rd. Suite 206-B this Thursday, Feb. 28, 2013 from 6:30p – 8:00p for an open house to see the test vehicle and it’s improvements. 

The prototype vehicles are being tested to make sure that the new design meets the needs of the people who turn to the Red Cross for help after disasters. New technologies are being incorporated  like WiFi and dynamic messaging, so that the vehicles will be able to help with communication in disaster-torn areas.

Over the next 10 years, the Red Cross hopes to replace it’s aging national fleet of ERVs with new, more efficient vehicles, saving millions of dollars in the long run. Better fuel efficiency, easier to find replacement parts and safety and ergonomic features are at the top of the list of improvements.

Red Cross emergency response vehicles have become a sign of relief in disaster affected communities over the years, and the next-generation design will continue to serve as a beacon of hope rolling through neighborhoods where help is needed most. Over 100 years ago, American Red Cross founder Clara Barton used a wagon as an ambulance for her work in the battlefields. World War II brought “clubmobiles” that the Red Cross used to support U.S. servicemen.

In 1984, the Red Cross standardized disaster vehicles around an ambulance design. Prior to that, converted bread trucks, station wagons and pickups were used to deliver meals and supplies after disasters.

The American Red Cross has more than 320 ERVs stationed at chapter offices around the country. The entire fleet was mobilized in response to Hurricane Sandy’s aftermath. Volunteers drove vehicles from all around the country to go to New York and New Jersey to assist in the devastated communities. In their home chapters, the vehicles are used for local disaster response – feeding victims and delivering clean up supplies to disaster affected areas.

These new vehicles will bring Red Cross mobile abilities into a new generation of response, taking into consideration the evolving needs of our nation’s population, and allowing hundreds of thousands of Red Cross volunteers to continue to deliver the care that is so needed every time, all the time.

Sandy Pictures From Our Volunteers In The Field

The Southern Nevada chapter of the American Red Cross has sent 15 people to the huge mobilization on the east coast in response to Superstorm Sandy.

Zoe Albright and Eric Baum, two of our dear DAT volunteers have been taking time to send back the occasional picture. It gives you an idea of what the residents are up against, and how important it is that our Red Cross workers are there to help.

Zoe is stationed in New Jersey, and she and Christa Ward are working together on opening additional kitchens for feeding.









Eric Baum has been working in Mass Care in New Jersey. The damage there is heavy and, at one point, they had to have an escort by Fire and Rescue to get to parts of the city.






Be careful out there…



Deb Lancaster – Interim Director of Service Delivery

Last month we bid farewell to CEO Jeffrey Varnes as he retired after 45 years of service.  As most of you know Scott Emerson began serving as Interim CEO February 1st.  Since the CEO search process can often take several months Scott asked Deb Lancaster to join the paid staff as the Interim Director of Service Delivery.  

Deb will be in the office on Tuesdays and Thursdays and is available via email and phone through out the week.  She is a veteran Red Crosser having retired from the American Red Cross of Summit and Portage Counties in Akron, Ohio in 2007 after 20 years of service.  Deb has a long non-profit career having worked for the Girls Scouts before joining the Red Cross.  Deb’s background was primarily HR and volunteer management but she spent the last 12 years of her paid Red Cross career as the Director of Emergency Services. 

In addition to her local work in Ohio Deb has been a long-time DSHR member and is a National Multi-Chapter Response Director.  Her national response experience includes being part of the immediate response to 9/11 (she landed in NYC on the 12th), Hurricane Katrina and as the job director for the 2008 Iowa Floods.  Deb’s national experience also includes helping to write the Emergency Services Program Manager courses.

Deb has three adult children and is a native of Akron, Ohio.  So what brings a midwest girl to Vegas? Deb’s husband is a Sales Manager covering the West and they decided to make Pahrump their home base in 2007 after Deb’s retirement.  Since that time Deb has been an active disaster services volunteer at the Southern Nevada Chapter.  Some of you have probably had Deb as your instructor in a disaster course.  Deb is also the Chair of the Nevada Statewide Disaster consortium.

ASL Sign Language Interpreters Needed

The chapter is in need of volunteer qualified or certified ASL Sign Language Interpreters.  This is an ongoing need so that we can have resources available to serve the deaf and hard of hearing community. 

We also have a specific need for Monday, February 12th from 9 am – 6 pm to translate for a CPR class.  Free certification would be provided for the interpreter.  If you know of someone who can help please contact HR Manager Rebecca Garcia at rebeccad@redcrosslasvegas.org.

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