American Red Cross chapters serving all of Wisconsin, plus the Michigan border communities are just days away from the Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference to be held at the Gruenhagen Conference Center on the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh Campus from October 18-21, 2012.
More than 200 have registered for entry-level to high-level training with courses taught-by, and open-to, community partners as well as newcomers and long-time Red Cross responders.
Specific training tracks are scheduled so a person can grow within their chosen line of service. Training tracks include: health services, mental health, sheltering, operations management, feeding and disaster communications. Therefore, a person with professional skills, such as a licensed mental health professional, can learn the Red Cross guidance to make their disaster deployment the most beneficial for the people we serve. In other capacities, we are looking for volunteers with a strong will to help others, are compassionate and are ready for training.
All courses will have a strong emphasis on collaborative efforts before, during and after disasters. For instance, fostering working relationships with other first responders, community leaders and mutual aid assets are vital to a successful response. While we have the trained team to establish a shelter, we need the location, which is where our community partners and advanced planning comes into play.
All courses are free to disaster responders, just like the services we provide during times of need. In fact, the Red Cross responds to more than 70,000 disasters a year – more than 1,100 in Wisconsin last year. Course participants will be asked to respond to local disasters first and then as skills and availability rise, they maybe deployed to larger or national assignments. For example, during Hurricane Isaac, several Emergency Response Vehicles from Wisconsin were driven to the Gulf Coast. During the ERV Ready, Set, Roll course, we will certify additional drivers. Due to over-whelming registrations for the International Humanitarian Law course, we’ve added a class on Wednesday, October 17th. This class explores guiding principles from the Geneva Conventions which sets forth Red Cross involvement around the globe.
About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization which depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.