January 6, 2011 -- In the closing weeks of 2010, the American Red Cross in our region responded to twelve fires, opened two shelters and provided support at the scene of an overturned bus and a derailed train. Responding to two fires in the past three days, local Red Cross disaster services volunteers are preparing themselves for a new year that looks a lot like the close of the last.
At this time, disaster services volunteers from the Green Mountain Chapter of the American Red Cross are concluding their work with a Brattleboro resident displaced by an overnight fire on Main Street. On Tuesday evening, volunteers with the Central VT/NH Valley Chapter were on the scene of a fire in Williamstown, VT, assisting a family who was also put out of their home by fire. In both instances, the volunteers were part of local Red Cross Disaster Action Teams, a corps of volunteers who respond day or night to assess the needs of disaster victims and, when requested, provide aid to first responders, most often in the form of hydration and rehabilitative support.
In response to the Brattleboro and Williamstown fires, financial assistance was provided for food, clothing and shelter. Referrals were also made for additional support.
“Winter is a time when we traditionally see an increase in the need for Red Cross disaster services,” said Tim Stetson, Chief Response Officer of the Vermont & New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross. “In recent weeks, however, we have seen more activity than usual,” Stetson added.
All American Red Cross emergency assistance is provided free of charge and made possible by donations from fellow community members. To help the victims of these and other disasters, donations can be made to the American Red Cross by sending a contribution to the American Red Cross, Northern Vermont Chapter, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401-3323, or by going to our website: www.redcrossvtnhuv.org. For checks, please specify Disaster Relief in the memo line of your check.