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Newport Independent - Newport, AR
  • Jackson County Residents Embrace American Red Cross Disaster Training for Community Care

  • Jackson County community and business leaders plus local law enforcement gathered Tuesday night at the Tuckerman City Hall for the first of several American Red Cross trainings on disaster response.

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  • Jackson County community and business leaders plus local law enforcement gathered Tuesday night at the Tuckerman City Hall for the first of several American Red Cross trainings on disaster response.
    "This meeting continues a series of ongoing Red Cross meetings to recruit and train Arkansans for local disaster response," stated American Red Cross Zone Manager Jody Carter. "It is critical we have as many neighbors trained before a disaster occurs to provide quick and effective disaster relief no matter the time of day or night."
    In addition to weather related disasters, the most frequent disaster response by Red Cross Disaster Teams is to persons affected by home fires. "We respond to an average of four fires a day across Arkansas," Carter continued "Sadly, we are number three on the Federal Emergency Management Agency's (FEMA) High Fire Fatality List. More heartbreaking is the majority of the victims are children under the age of 12."
    Red Cross volunteers are need for a variety of services from disaster response, to drivers for mobile trucks, logistics and administrative skills. "Numerous skills and expertise are needed the larger an event becomes, and we know Arkansas has its share of large scale disasters," stated Carter.
    Office of Emergency Management Director Don Ivie was impressed with the meeting. "We had a great turnout and are looking forward to many more gatherings of these and other volunteers as we develop a disaster response team to work during the hardest of personal circumstances in our county."
    The initial goal of the Red Cross is for Jackson County residents to develop a team of trained volunteers ready to respond when disaster strikes individuals and families, such as residential fires. Concern for others is why Jackson County emergency responder Melissa Lore attended to add American Red Cross
    volunteer to her list of trainings.
    "We want to let our neighbors know that they can count on us to be there for them should they find themselves victims of a house fire." Lore continued, "If I found myself as a victim, I hope I would have someone to turn to, a shoulder to cry on, someone to comfort my children.  That's what we want to be to our community, a support system."
    Carter was thrilled with the turnout of residents as well as the variety of neighbors from all walks of the community. Tuckerman Police Chief Johnathan Tubbs shares his excitement, "It's people like these, who care about their communities and want to get involved, that make emergency situations an easier venture for response."
    While law enforcement and emergency crews are first responders during disasters, non-emergency personnel such as Red Cross teams are next on the scene.
    "We are going to need local volunteers who are not already involved in fighting the fire, rescue work, medical attention," Office of Emergency Management Director Ivie said. "When the call comes, those who work emergencies will focus on
    Page 2 of 2 - their profession. We are going to need citizens who will be willing to come out and care for the immediate needs of the victims."
    If you are interested in becoming an American Red Cross volunteer, contact Carter at (870) 932-3212.
    The next Red Cross training is Tuesday, May 29, 5:30 p.m. at Pizza Hut, 2101 Malcolm Ave, Newport in the meeting room. Dinner will be provided.
    For disaster prevention and response tips or to find a health and safety class such as Babysitter Training or First Aid/CPR near you visit arkansasredcross.org.
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