WENY News - Red Cross recruits local volunteers for disaster training

Red Cross recruits local volunteers for disaster training

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CORNING (WENY) --   The American Red Cross has already launched a massive effort to help in the aftermath of Harvey and Irma. Now they're continuing to recruit here in the Finger Lakes.
     
Tuesday afternoon was the second of four introductory training sessions -- each designed to prepare volunteers and ready them for proper training.

"Part of ensuring that level of training is making sure they're participating in everything from that initial course, all the way to specialized training," says Brian McConnell, Executive Director of the Finger Lakes Chapter. "It's very individualized. Depending on what they're interested in, that training will take them to that specialization."

Base training could be completed in as little as a week. From there specializations could be delivering food or helping with shelter.

During their training, volunteers will be given an idea of what they can expect during deployment. They'll then be able to decide if they're ready for assignment. 

Volunteers are briefed on conditions including extreme heat or humidity. Also air quality, limited food supply or lack of shelter.
    
Despite these possibilities, the community's response to help has been overwhelming.

"I am humbled by the generosity of the individuals who have come forward," says McConnell. "Many of them want to share their own stories. Many have been through some type of response, or been touched by the Red Cross in some way. We're humbled to have their support."

Help expands far beyond just Harvey and Irma -- help is needed across the globe in a number of different areas.

The Finger Lakes chapter will hold two more sessions this month:

Tuesday, Sept. 19: 9 am - 12 pm
Tuesday, Sept. 26: 9 am - 12 pm

Both will be held at the Chapter Office located at 123 West Market Street, Corning.

And even if you can't commit the time to deploy, the organizations says there are still ways to lend a hand. 

"Those communities are going to be recovering potentially for years," says McConnell. "This is really the initial phase. We encourage individuals to continue to get involved with their favorite charities."

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