It started last week in Montpelier with the help and support of Governor Shumlin. At a ceremony in his ceremonial office in the State House, the Governor signed a proclamation declaring March as American Red Cross Month and he urged all Vermonters to support our organization.
While at the State House, we also took a moment to confer the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit upon Mr. Ned Kirsch of Essex Town, VT. The award is given to a person who uses their Red Cross training to save or sustain a life. Through his work as an educator, Mr. Kirsch had learned CPR and renewed his skills several times through recertification. Ultimately, it wasn't a colleague or student who needed his help; it was his own brother. After his brother was felled by a heart attack during a family gathering this past summer, Mr. Kirsch jumped in and administered CPR until EMS arrived. His actions are credited with saving his brother's life. To highlight the importance of the award, the Governor helped us to present this award to Mr. Kirsch.
While winter may have come to an end on the calendar, we all know better. Unfortunately, this past week looked much like the rest of this winter with regard to a great demand for Red Cross disaster services. Members of our Disaster Action Teams went out on response in Enfield, NH and Colchester, VT. In both instances, assistance was provided to people whose homes were struck by fire. For our Central VT/NH Valley Chapter, their rate of response has already exceed all of last year, with over 3 months still remaining in the current fiscal year.
As noted, March is Red Cross month and while it may be marked by well-deserved proclamations, the heart of what we accomplish is seen in the quick action of Ned Kirsch and the compassion and dedication of our Disaster Action Teams. Thank you to everyone who supports the humanitarian mission of the American Red Cross.