Welcome Paige – Disaster Services Intern

Paige BurgessMy name is Paige Burgess. I am currently a junior at University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. I am majoring in Human Services Leadership and hope to go on to graduate school. Currently I am a part of the Human Services Leadership Organization, along with going on my fourth year in the University Honors Program and the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh Swim team. I have always wanted to help as a profession, even as a child. When I was younger I wanted to help animals and now my interests have grown to helping anyone I can. When I learned about this major I knew I had found what I’ve been looking for. I have been a lifeguard for about five years and knowing that Red Cross does the training was about all I knew about this organization until I did my research. I am truly honored to be interning with the Northeastern Wisconsin American Red Cross team. The amount of work and dedication they have for helping people in need is overwhelming and I am happy that I get to be a part of it.

A little bit about me: I am from Oconomowoc, Wisconsin where my love for helping started. In high school I joined my church on several mission trips. We went to New Orleans twice to help with the destruction from hurricane Katrina and we went to New York to volunteer with multiple soup kitchens and other churches. Coming from a smaller town these experiences really allowed me to see another side of life. Although I am unsure on what I want to do as a profession, I am excited to experience as much as life will offer.

Being given the opportunity to intern with the Red Cross I believe will show me many aspects of my major that I have not considered yet and hopefully this will lead me in the direction of what I would like to do in the future.

Wisconsin Disaster Training Conference To Begin Largest Registration Ever Includes Five States Represented

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.

For the complete list of classes please visit redcross.org/newisconsin or redcross.org/sewisconsin.

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.

UWO to participate in full-scale emergency drill today!

Clow Social Science Center, 805 Algoma Blvd.

The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh, the City of Oshkosh and Winnebago County will conduct a full-scale emergency response exercise Thursday, Aug. 12, 2010.

The field portion of the exercise will be focused in and around Clow Social Science Center (805 Algoma Blvd.) on the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh campus. Other facilities being used include Reeve Memorial Union (748 Algoma Blvd.), Radford Hall – Student Health (777 Algoma Blvd.), parking lots around Clow and additional emergency operations centers operating at several off-campus locations. Officials leading the exercise would appreciate if individuals would avoid the area surrounding the Clow classrooms.

Road closures will include Algoma Boulevard at Woodland Avenue to Osceola Street, High Street at Woodland Avenue to Osceola Street, and Osceola Street at Pearl Avenue. Closures will run from 8 – 11:30 a.m.


The exits for parking lots that empty onto High Street or Algoma Boulevard will be blocked until 11:30 a.m. In the event of an emergency need to leave those parking lots, contact University Police at 424-1212.

The exercise will involve emergency personnel and vehicles from local law enforcement agencies, including the University Police. Set-up for the exercise will begin at 6 a.m. and the exercise is scheduled to end by 12:30 p.m.

More than 300 participants, including local and county law enforcement officers, firefighters, EMS personnel, hospital staff and volunteer “victim” actors, will participate. The full-scale exercise will offer UW Oshkosh, first response agencies and local jurisdictions the means to test their skills in real-time, to gain the in-depth knowledge that only this type of realistic experience can provide and to build coordinated capacity for incident response.

Agencies participating in the exercise include the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (including Police, Administration and Counseling), Winnebago County (including Emergency Management, Sheriff’s Department/Dispatch and Public Information), Oshkosh Fire/EMS and Police Departments, Neenah Police Department, Menasha Police Department, Appleton Police Department,  Mercy Medical Center, Aurora Hospital and the American Red Cross.

The drill will involve a high degree of realism, including actors posing as “victims” who may appear to be injured. Members of the community traveling in the area may see police officers with weapons drawn and hear gunshots; this activity will be clustered in and immediately outside of Clow only. Reeve and Radford will be used only by volunteer “victim” actors.

Be aware that all weapons will be thoroughly checked by trained exercise safety officers and will only fire “simunition” training rounds. These rounds sound like gunfire but do not project a bullet only a tiny, colored soap pellet. Be assured that all registered exercise participants will be provided eye protection and all other safety gear required for their level of activity but that it is critical that other people not associated with the exercise stay away from the area.

Signs will be posted explaining that the activity is only an exercise and participants will be clearly indicated.