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Red Cross training new volunteers in Mariposa in preparation for fire season

About a dozen people were staying in a Red Cross shelter after Mariposa County foothill communities were evacuated for the Ferguson Fire, which has reached about 4,000 acres on Sunday, July 15, 2018.
About a dozen people were staying in a Red Cross shelter after Mariposa County foothill communities were evacuated for the Ferguson Fire, which has reached about 4,000 acres on Sunday, July 15, 2018. tmiller@mercedsunstar.com

In preparation for the southern Sierra Nevada’s fire season, the American Red Cross of the Central Valley will be training volunteers in Mariposa next week.

The Shelter Boot Camp training begins Wednesday, May 1 and runs through Friday, May 3 at the New Life Christian Fellowship, 5089 Cole Road. The training sessions are scheduled for 6-10 p.m. each day.

“When the Red Cross responds to a disaster, like the Ferguson Fire last year, our workforce consists of more than 90-percent volunteers,” said Katrina Poltras, Red Cross disaster program manager serving Mariposa, Merced and Madera counties. “We rely on their compassion and generosity to not only open shelters but provide comfort and care for those who have been affected by disaster.”

Over the three days, participants will be able to partake in a wide variety of courses, including activation, logistics, function, feeding, mental health, casework and deployment. Only those who complete all three days of training will be able to submit an application to become a Red Cross shelter worker.

Red Cross will also provide special training for partner agencies and elected officials over the same three-day period.

Anyone interested in the training can register online. Those interested in learning more about Red Cross volunteer opportunities can visit their website, or email the local volunteer services team at volunteer.centralca@redcross.org.

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