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Red Cross seeks volunteers to help during wildfire season

As large fires, including the Poeville, Mahogany and Numbers fires, have affected hundreds of people as hot, dry, windy conditions have taken hold, the American Red Cross is looking for volunteers.

At the same time, the Red Cross is adapting emergency response measures, including the way they deploy volunteers because of the COVID-19 pandemic while experts suggest we are in for a busy wildfire season.

“The coronavirus pandemic will make it challenging to deploy trained disaster volunteers from other parts of the country should an emergency occur,” said Alan Diskin, executive director of the American Red Cross of Southern Nevada. “In light of this, the Red Cross is asking you to be ready to help your community. Train now to be a Red Cross volunteer and answer the call to help if the need arises here in our own state.”

There is a special need for volunteers to support sheltering efforts. Because of COVID-19, the Red Cross is placing those needing a safe place to stay in emergency hotel lodging when possible. If hotel stays aren’t possible, then the Red Cross will open traditional shelters. To help keep people safe, they have put in place additional precautions and developed special training for their workforce.

Red Cross volunteers are needed to help staff shelter reception, registration, feeding, dormitory, information collection and other vital tasks to help those they serve. They have both associate and supervisory level opportunities available.

The Red Cross is looking for anyone who is an RN, LPN, LVN, APRN, NP, EMT, paramedic, MD/DO or PA with an active, current and unencumbered license. Volunteers are needed in shelters to help assess people’s health. Daily observation and health screening for COVID-19-like illness among shelter residents might also be required. RNs supervise all clinical tasks.

Roles are also available for certified nursing assistants, certified home health aides, student nurses and medical students. Volunteers are needed to provide care as delegated by a licensed nurse in shelters. This could include assisting with activities of daily living, personal assistance services, providing health education and helping to replace medications, durable medical equipment or consumable medical supplies.

When people leave their homes during an emergency, they take their pets with them. The Red Cross is looking for established partner organizations to support the pet sheltering effort.

Anyone interested in helping should go to redcross.org/volunteertoday.

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