The executive director of the Iowa Rivers Chapter of the American Red Cross says the three-member staff will be eliminated on September second. The chapter’s office is located in Marshalltown and it serves Jasper, Marshall, Tama, Poweshiek and Hardin Counties.

Mary Dooley says the office she has overseen will be open at least one day a week and be run by a person who will also run the offices in Ames and Ottumwa.

Dooley says the Red Cross has tried to respond to changing needs and the economy, which has required them to downsize the paid staff. Dooley says disaster relief efforts and blood drives will not be impacted by the layoffs, but other services such as first aid training may.

She says dedicated volunteers have been one of the things that has been a strength of the Red Cross, and she says that will continue with local volunteers. When the office in Marshalltown is not open, someone at the office in Des Moines will answer its phone.

Dooley has been with the Red Cross for 20 years and plans to go into semi-retirement.

By Randy Van, KCOB, Newton