In the wake of last year’s fire season and the devastating impact of the Detwiler, Railroad and Mission fires, and a ‘new’ fire season ahead, the Red Cross is now making a big push for Mountain Area volunteers.
During the Detwiler Fire the Red Cross set up five shelters in under two hours and before it was over they had to bring volunteers in from around the nation to man a total of nine shelters. Their goal is to ensure there are enough volunteers in the Mountain Area as an anticipated high fire season approaches.
A 14-year Red Cross veteran, Katrina Poitras, now runs the Mountain Team and says, “It’s important to take care of our own backyard, and we want to get ahead of it this year with at least 100 new volunteers.”
Poitras is calling for citizens from Coarsegold to North Fork to Mariposa to enroll in the Red Cross Shelter Boot Camp, a two evening and one full day event, that will be held at Oakhurst’s Sierra Vista Presbyterian Church.
“It is an incredible privilege to be apart of this dedicated team, the opportunity to help your neighbors and community recover and heal during an event is a life changing experience,” said Poitras.
In Boot Camp, potential volunteers will learn the fundamentals of shelter and psychological first aid, as well as, undergo an entire day of shelter simulation.
From set-up to break down, boot camp students will experience the life cycle of a shelter, get hands on experience with client aid, and have a chance to figure out their best fit in the different volunteer roles at a shelter.
A background check is required to volunteer and the Red Cross invites people who are 16 years old or older including seniors in good health to become apart of the Mountain Team.
According to Poitras, volunteers can choose how much time they can volunteer during a disaster.
“The Red Cross understands that our volunteers have jobs, school, families and lives, so we tailor their schedules during an event to what they are able to give.”
The Red Cross Mountain Team is looking for people, “ who have a passion to help others and the willingness to love people unconditionally.”
Boot Camp Schedule
☆ April 19, 6-10 p.m. - Shelter Fundamentals
☆ April 20, 6- 10 p.m.- Psychological First Aid
☆ April 21, 8 a.m. - 5 p.m. - Shelter Workshop and graduation
Details: Register online by April 9 at http://rdcrss.org/2HzM1fr, Sierra Vista Presbyterian, 39696 Highway 41, Oakhurst