Monday, January 24, 2011

West Lebanon, New Hampshire – January 24, 2011 -- At this hour, Red Cross Disaster Services personnel are on the scene of an 11-unit apartment building fire on Seminary Hill in West Lebanon, NH. “The responding personnel are volunteers with the Central VT/NH Valley Chapter’s Upper Valley Disaster Action Team, with support from the Green Mountain Chapter volunteer corps,” said Bruce Pollock, Emergency Services Director for the Red Cross. “While below zero temperatures will present some challenges for our disaster response, none will be as great as those faced by the families impacted by the fire or the first responders who are on the scene.”

When the call came in to the Red Cross this morning, disaster services team members skilled in mass care and client assistance were dispatched to the fire. Rehabilitative support, in the form of hydration and food are already being provided to fire fighters and other emergency personnel. At every scene, families are interviewed to determine their immediate, emergency needs. The Red Cross primarily assists with emergency shelter, food, clothing, medical and disaster mental health services and supports families further by providing referrals to other community support resources.

“Our mass care/rehabilitation personnel are there to help with the rehydration and electrolyte replacement so desperately needed by first responders as they conduct their fireground operations,” Pollock said. “Our role is to help them stay safe as they perform their very important jobs.” “The compassion and experience of our disaster services volunteers provides both comfort and direct assistance to families facing the trauma of such a disaster,” he added.

With a number of the building’s residents out of their homes and at work, the Red Cross is encouraging affected families to call (802) 254-2377 if they are in need of assistance and have not met with disaster services volunteers at the scene.

All emergency assistance provided by the American Red Cross is provided free of charge and made possible by donations from fellow community members. To help the victims of this and other disasters, contributions can be made by sending a contribution to the American Red Cross, Vermont and the New Hampshire Valley Region, 29 Mansfield Avenue, Burlington, VT 05401-3323. Please specify Disaster Services in the memo of your check.