Sixteen American Red Cross volunteers and staff members responded to the bus crash on Interstate 81 earlier today by providing counseling and other services to the 50 passengers and injured driver at the three Syracuse hospitals and Regional Transportation Center.
Red Cross Disaster Mental Health volunteers, Health Services volunteers and caseworkers met with passengers who were transported to Upstate University Hospital, Crouse Hospital and St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center. Several volunteers were also deployed to the Regional Transportation Center, where many of the passengers who were uninjured or treated and released from the hospital gathered this morning to take a bus home.
In the hospitals and at the Transportation Center, the Red Cross volunteers were available for counseling, provided blankets and water, and helped with logical issues for the passengers’ return home.
The Red Cross is also in contact with the family of the bus driver, who remains at Upstate University Hospital. The Red Cross will provide the family with financial assistance for food, transportation and lodging, if requested.
In a 12-hour span from mid-afternoon Wednesday to the bus crash at about 2:30 a.m. today, American Red Cross of Central New York volunteers responded to three house fires and the bus crash. The Red Cross assisted 19 people (nine adults and 10 children) who were displaced from their homes by the three fires (two in Syracuse, one in Jordan), plus the bus passengers and driver.
And since Saturday, the Red Cross has responded to six house fires and assisted a total of 29 people (17 adults, 12 children) who were displaced from their homes by the fires.
“Most of the volunteers who responded to the bus crash this morning had responded to these fires over the last few days,” said Maureen Perkins, Disaster Program Manager for the Red Cross of Central New York. “Their dedication to helping people in time of need is unmatched, and they truly are the heart of the Red Cross in Central New York.”