Red Cross hosts training this weekend

The American Red Cross of Alaska will host a two-day training session this weekend for Kenai Peninsula residents interested in volunteering.

When disaster strikes, members of the Red Cross are dispatched around Alaska. Since there is currently no Red Cross office on the Kenai Peninsula, the organization needs to send them from other locations, like when volunteers from the Mat-Su came to Kenai following the 7.1 magnitude earthquake last winter.

Lisa Miller, regional communications officer for Red Cross in Anchorage, said there is a good group of Red Cross volunteers on the peninsula, but that the organization is working to grow that number to make it easier for the Red Cross to respond to emergencies there.

“We do have some really, really amazing volunteers down there currently, and they’ve been there for years,” Miller said. “We do have a good base, we’re just looking to build upon it.”

The Red Cross will host a “New Volunteer Orientation and Training” session from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday at the Nikiski Senior Center to teach residents about what Red Cross does for people during disasters and how they can get involved and volunteer for the organization. This is a more general overview and is open to anyone who would like to volunteer with any aspect of disaster response, from shelters to logistics to communications, Miller said.

The second session, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, gets into the specifics of the Red Cross’ Disaster Action Team and what its members do. The session will focus on how to respond to home fires, which Miller called a level one emergency, compared to an earthquake or wild fire, which would be level two or three emergencies.

There are no prerequisites or costs to enter the sessions, Miller said, and those interested do not need to register beforehand.

“They’re both open to everybody,” she said.

Miller did suggest that those who are interested in learning about the Disaster Action Team also attend the first session, as it gives a good overview of how to become a Red Cross volunteer.

For more information about the training weekend, contact Celia Jackson at 907-230-4492 or celia.Jackson@redcross.org.

 

Reach Megan Pacer at megan.pacer@peninsulaclarion.com.

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