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Volunteer Boot Camp Comes to Mohawk Valley and North Country

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Disaster Responder Boot Camp will be offered in Rome, Morrisonville and Watertown.

Last month, the American Red Cross Eastern New York Region held its first-ever Disaster Responder Boot Camp in Albany, NY. Nearly two dozen volunteers participated in the two-day training program, completing all of steps required to begin serving on a local Disaster Action Team. In an effort to welcome and train even more volunteers to provide disaster relief across the region, Red Cross Disaster Responder Boot Camp will be offered over the coming weeks in Rome, Morrisonville and Watertown, NY:

Mohawk Valley Disaster Responder Boot Camp

Saturday, September 26 & Sunday, September 27

Hampton Inn, 1352 Floyd Avenue, Rome, NY 13441

North Country Disaster Responder Boot Camp - Morrisonville

Saturday, October 17 & Sunday, October 18

American Red Cross, 26 Emory Street, Morrisonville, NY 12962

North Country Disaster Responder Boot Camp - Watertown

Saturday, October 17 & Sunday, October 18

American Red Cross, 203 N. Hamilton Street, Watertown, NY 13601

Each boot camp session will consist of two training courses on Saturday, running from 11:00 A.M. to 5:00 P.M., and one training course on Sunday, running from 1:00 P.M. to 5:00 P.M. New volunteers will also have the opportunity to complete the volunteer application and onboarding process from 9:00 A.M. to 11:00 A.M. on Saturday. Current Red Cross volunteers should sign up by visiting the Disaster Training shift tool on Volunteer Connection and registering for all three training courses listed on the calendar for their preferred boot camp weekend/location. New and prospective volunteers should contact Brian Vance at (315) 733-4666 or email to sign up or request more information.

Immediately upon completion the two-day Disaster Responder Boot Camp, participants will be able to respond to local emergencies as trainees on a Red Cross Disaster Action Team. Disaster Action Team members cover on-call shifts to provide assistance such as temporary shelter, food, clothing and emotional support to victims of home fires and other disasters. They are also able to open shelters and provide canteen services during large-scale events. 

To join a Disaster Action Team, volunteers must be at least 16 years old with a cell phone, email address, driver’s license, reliable transportation and the desire to help their neighbors when they need it most. No experience is necessary, but those who have familiarity with emergency services or fire scenes are especially encouraged to join. Training, including all components of the Disaster Responder Boot Camp, is provided free of charge.

The American Red Cross relies on the power of volunteers to be able to respond to disasters 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, across a 24-county service area. In the Eastern New York Region, Red Cross volunteers respond to nearly 500 home fires and other disasters each year, and additional volunteers are needed now to ensure that Red Cross disaster services are available whenever and wherever they are needed. For more information about volunteering with the American Red Cross in your community, please visit