President Obama has proclaimed March as the Red Cross Month. To mark the occasion, the Red Cross Santa Monica Bay is strengthening cooperation between the local fire departments and the Red Cross home emergency and disaster response service.
Santa Monica Bay Chapter Executive Julie Thomas and Disaster Program Manager Jeanne Woo, together with chapter volunteers, are aiming to reach as many fire departments and first responders in the Santa Monica Bay and Los Angeles Metro territories as possible. The goal of the outreach effort is to strengthen the cooperation between fire department dispatch services and the Red Cross and guarantee that all the fire department dispatch operatives have the most up-to-date information about the Red Cross free disaster services.
Jeanne Woo, a long time Red Cross employee and volunteer, was recently promoted to Disaster Program Manager. She transferred to Santa Monica Bay and West LA last summer from East Los Angeles County service area. She says that during a home emergency, families often don’t know how to request help or what assistance the Red Cross can provide. Red Cross assistance is very flexible and aimed to empower families to make their own decisions during the recovery process.
“We want to make sure that the clients who are the most vulnerable are aware of and have access to our services. We depend very heavily on the first responders; fire departments, emergency departments and police to help us facilitate that.” Jeanne Woo says.
The initiative spans across eight cities: Malibu, Santa Monica, Hollywood, Hawthorne, Culver City, Inglewood, and El Segundo; various neighborhoods of Los Angeles spanning from the coast to mid-Wilshire; and the unincorporated communities of Topanga, Marina Del Rey and West Hollywood. In this region, the Red Cross Disaster Action Teams cooperate with eight different fire departments, Los Angeles Fire Department, LA County Fire, Santa Monica Fire Department, Culver City Fire Department El Segudo Fire Department and Beverly Hills Fire Department, which have over sixty fire stations in the area.
During the 31 Days of Red the disaster staff together with Red Cross volunteers are reaching out to, and setting up meetings with as many of these partners as possible.