Red Cross and Red Crescent volunteers are often the first people on the scene when a tragedy occurs. Whether they’re helping a choking victim, a mudslide survivor, or people affected by an attack, they hold a certain type of determination and bring special skills—like first aid and search and rescue—that can save a life.
On Friday, November 13, Paris was hit by a series of shootings and explosions that left more than 120 people dead and injured more than 350. Within moments, French Red Cross volunteers and staff were at work to provide first aid and support the emergency response. More than 340 Red Cross volunteers worked throughout the night to support the survivors of the attacks.
The teams also helped at the reception and psychosocial support centers, which were set up at the Hotel Dieu hospital as well as in the local town hall. Red Cross volunteers also supported the call centers established by the Foreign Ministry and participated in the information cell set up by the police. All volunteers and staff are currently still on high alert, ready to intervene at any time.
Facing this unbearable tragedy, Jean-Jacques Eledjam, President of the French Red Cross stated, on behalf of the 58,000 volunteers and 22,000 employees of the organization, "In these terrible moments, our thoughts are with the families and friends of the victims."
On Thursday, November 12, a deadly double-explosion rocked the southern suburbs of Beirut. At least 43 people were killed and more than 235 injured, many of whom are in a critical condition.
Immediately after the blasts hit southern Beirut, the Lebanese Red Cross dispatched 60 responders and 12 ambulances to the scene to provide assistance to the wounded. Volunteers transferred seriously wounded people to nearby hospitals and provided first aid to victims.
The Lebanese Red Cross launched a blood donation drive to meet the growing needs at hospitals where the injured were being treated, collecting more than 50 units of blood that evening and delivering them immediately to where they were most needed.
American Red Cross Response
The American Red Cross is in close contact with our colleagues at the global Red Cross network. It released a statement on Friday night, which can be found at American Red Cross Statement on Attacks in Paris.
For those concerned about loved ones, the best way to contact or locate U.S. citizens living or traveling in France is to contact the U.S. Department of State, Office of Overseas Citizens Services, at 1-888-407-4747 or (202) 647-5225. The French Ministry of Foreign Affairs has also established a hotline for missing person’s inquiries at 011-33-1-45-50-34-60 or you can submit a request to American Red Cross online.
The American Red Cross appreciates the nationwide show of support it has witnessed in the wake of these attacks, but is not seeking donations to support the tragedies at this time. As with the rest of the global community, we will stand by to do whatever we can to support those affected.