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American Red Cross in need of volunteers in Pahrump Valley

The Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross is looking to recruit local volunteers to help respond to life-threatening emergencies and provide various other services within the community, including disaster response and preparedness.

The Pahrump Valley does have a few volunteers, but the need for additional volunteers is crucial, Regional Public Information Officer Frank Rutkowski said.

“We want to train people here in Pahrump to help each other and basically be that Red Cross branch out here,” he said. “We want people here in Pahrump to be those people, so it doesn’t take an extra hour for us to respond from Las Vegas.”

The Red Cross of Southern Nevada services four Nevada counties: Nye, Clark, Esmeralda and Lincoln.

Rutowski said when there is an emergency in the community, he wants to have local volunteers to respond, especially in the case of a house fire, where food, shelter and comforting support is provided by the agency.

“Anytime there is a fire, our disaster action team goes out and basically meets with the family to determine how we can help them,” he said. “Whether or not it’s financially, or getting supplies for the family. We find that if we have to come from Las Vegas, it takes us an extra hour to get here.”

Training provided

The American Red Cross offers a wide variety of training courses in first aid, CPR, lifeguard training, and other areas for both individuals and organizations.

Rutkowski noted the agency provides training to those who are able and willing to volunteer their time.

“We want to take people who have skills and if they want to further their skills, we will put them in positions where they could do so,” he said. “If they don’t have the skills and they want to learn new things, we want to be able to basically put them on track to learn the skills they want.”

One important aspect of volunteering, is providing support to families and individuals who have lost their home to a fire.

“There’s also the issue of casework, where after a fire happens, these volunteers would follow up with them,” he said. “We don’t just go to the scene and help people and then send them on their way, we follow up with them continuously until they let us know they are comfortable with not having us to check in on them regularly, and those caseworkers do exactly that.”

Delivering messages

In addition to disaster relief, Rutowski said volunteers are needed in numerous other areas to serve the local community.

“We also support the military both pre-deployment and post-deployment,” he said. “When there is a crisis at home and troops are serving abroad, the Red Cross uses its networks to deliver messages to them whether it’s an unfortunate death in the family, or any other important message. We want to be able to get that message to them whether they are serving in different countries or on a United States Navy ship somewhere. We have volunteers that work through those systems and networks to get the message to them.”

For additional information on volunteering log onto redcross.org/volunteer

“It is super easy where you fill out an application and a volunteer services team member will get in contact with them,” he said. “We will basically ask them what they want to do and how we can help them achieve what they want to achieve. They can also call 702-791-3311 for more volunteering information and we always have a volunteer services person there to answer any kind of questions.”

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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