Red Cross active during times of peace and war

By Greg Miller

   From September 2002 through July 2003, the local Red Cross sent 40 emergency messages for Carter County military families, provided an informational visit to an area National Guard unit of 150 members, and assisted one Carter County family in locating a family member through the International Red Cross' international tracing program.
   During the period, volunteers visited 86 veterans who reside in local nursing homes. This year, Bridget Hurt, coordinator of the Elizabethton/Carter County Red Cross chapter, hopes to visit some of the veterans herself. "I feel that our veterans are very important and that they have kind of a connection with the Red Cross."
   Volunteers provided 340 services such as shelter, clothing and food, etc., to disaster victims. During the period, Red Cross helped 83 individuals in 25 separate families. Disaster educational information was provided to 1,815 individuals. The Red Cross responded to a hazardous materials incident, in which the organization provided snacks and drinks to 125 workers. The Red Cross also conducted preparedness planning for Elizabethton and Carter County.
   Ninety-five certificates for disaster training were awarded to Red Cross volunteers in Carter County. Those volunteers are now trained in interviewing victims, managing a shelter, feeding those in need, and determining damage from weapons of mass destruction.
   The local Red Cross, a member agency of United Way of Carter County, certified 355 people in CPR and first aid, certified 40 individuals in swimming or lifeguard training, and trained six CPR and first aid instructors. Two-hundred-and-fifty-five youth participated in a safety day.
   In other activities, the Red Cross saw 160 individuals at health fairs and recruited and trained 21 new volunteers. The office reorganized and a Carter Advisory Council was appointed.
   The local Red Cross office is located at 116 Holston Avenue. The office is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information, call 542-2833.