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Red Cross Hosts Shelter Training Ahead Of Wildfire Season

OAKHURST — The American Red Cross of the Central Valley is hosting a Shelter Boot Camp training from Thursday, Apr. 19 through Saturday, Apr. 21 at Sierra Vista Presbyterian, 39696 Hwy 41, Oakhurst, CA 93644. Anyone interested in training as a Red Cross disaster volunteer is encouraged to attend; or register online.

This multi-day offering of courses is designed to build capacity for the upcoming wildfire season. Volunteers who complete all three days of training will be fully qualified to respond as a Red Cross shelter worker. Volunteers will be required to complete a background check in order to graduate.

“Our local Red Cross team is more than 90% led by volunteers,” said Red Cross Disaster Program Manager Katrina Poitras, “We rely on their compassion and generosity to serve the community in times of disaster.”

The three-day training will include the following classes:

  • Thursday, April 19, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Shelter Fundamentals
  • Friday, April 20, 6:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. – Psychological First Aid
  • Saturday, April 21, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. – Breakout sessions, deployment fundamentals, shelter workshop simulation, and graduation

Last year the local Red Cross responded to at least five wildfires in the Madera, Mariposa, Merced territory of the chapter, including the destructive Detwiler Fire. The Red Cross opened five emergency shelters in a matter of hours for the Detwiler Fire, providing relief and safe lodging for hundreds of affected residents.

“When it comes to natural disasters in this area, it’s not a matter of if, it’s a matter of when,” said Poitras, “That’s why we train and recruit Red Cross volunteers every day so that we can be ready to respond.”

Anyone interested in learning more about Red Cross volunteer opportunities can visit redcross.org/volunteer or email the local Volunteer Services team at volunteer.centralca@redcross.org.

 About the American Red Cross Central California Region

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. The American Red Cross Central California Region provides services to the ten counties across Central California that is home to more than 4 million people.

For more information, please visit www.redcross.org.



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