Edward Roosa has been volunteering with the American Red Cross for more than two and a half years now. He is a member of the Red Cross Columbia County Disaster Action Team (DAT) where he helps locally with those affected by fires and other disasters. DAT volunteers are second responders who spend more time with the family making sure they have food, clothes and a place to stay, and providing them with necessary comfort.
Also a member of the national organization’s mass care (sheltering/feeding) and disaster assessment team, Ed is sometimes deployed to help with relief efforts in other parts of the country. National volunteers participate in extensive training programs to preparing them for deployment, sometimes lasting more than three weeks at a time, to aid in disaster relief often helping out at shelters after disasters like Hurricane Irene or Superstorm Sandy.
“After Superstorm Sandy I was deployed to a shelter in Sullivan County,” said Roosa. “The people had been there for quite a long time and were anxious to get home. Just being there to sit and talk with them, listening to their stories seemed to take away some of the stress of living in a shelter and being unable to return home.”
Volunteer and disaster response has always been a part of Ed’s life. Before volunteering with the Red Cross for Hurricane Irene Relief, Ed had worked locally as both a volunteer firefighter and EMT.
“Volunteering has made me a lot more appreciative of the stability that I have,” said Roosa. “It has also made me more aware of how fragile that stability is and how quickly that can change.”