“As soon as I saw this come across, that they needed help, there was no doubt I was going to come,” said Derek Jordan, a Red Cross volunteer from Rhode Island, of the response to the Boston Marathon bombings. “It’s an hour away, like my back yard.”
Jordan has been working in Government Relations here since arriving two days after the attack, and is planning on being in Boston until May 6. One of his major roles is making sure requests from various government partners get to the departments that can facilitate them.
“During the lockdown in Watertown I was at the Arsenal staging area,” Jordan says. “I was the government liaison, coordinating with every acronym you can think of.” He also served as site director at a staging area where police officers from across New England gathered before attending a memorial service for slain MIT Officer Sean Collier.
This is the 14th Disaster Relief Operation Jordan has been a part of since joining the Red Cross in 2002. He says the Marathon response is different than any other he’s been a part of.
“We generally don’t work very closely with policing agencies like we are here,” Jordan said. “We have developed relationships, especially in the Boston area, with the Massachusetts State Police, the FBI. Hopefully when I leave this region, they’ll be better off with the relationships that have been developed over the course of the last week and a half.”