Team members are on call 24 hours a day, and wake up sometimes in the middle of the night to assist people displaced by fires and other disasters.
Peter Teahen with the Red Cross Grant Wood area chapter in Cedar Rapids, spoke with KCRG-TV about the critical role these volunteers fill during a house fire, for example. “Firefighters are taking care of the fire, we’re there to take care of the families,” Teahen said. The aid to fire victims continues long after the disaster.
“Days and weeks afterward to help them meet their emergency needs, because often times they have no one else to turn to except for the American Red Cross,” Teahen said. Red Cross Disaster Action Team members spend a week on call and then have a month off. Teahen said the volunteers aren’t only involved in disaster response, they’re also educating the public about fire prevention and preparation.
The team members often spend time with firefighters in the community doing smoke detector installations.