During the first week of May, a massive wildfire started spreading across Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada forcing a mandatory evacuation of more than 80,000 residents from their homes.
This wildfire has caused the largest fire-related evacuation in the province’s history.
On Monday, May 9, 2016, the Canadian Red Cross contacted and requested extra support from American Red Cross volunteers. In about 48 hours, more than 50 American Red Cross team members packed their bags, boarded planes and headed north to assist as needed.
“I’m not paying it forward, I’m paying it back,” said Nancy Kintner of Des Moines, Iowa, has been volunteering with the American Red Cross since 2008. “I have deployed more than 15 times domestically and this was my first opportunity to help internationally.”
Between 2012 and 2013 Kintner deployed three times, assisting in New York and New Jersey for SuperStorm Sandy and once to Baton Rouge, Louisiana during Hurricane Isaac.
“During each of those deployments, I had the chance to work with volunteers from the Canadian Red Cross who had come down to support our American Red Cross teams responding,” said Kintner. “You can’t give more than you get back in return.”
For more information on how you can become a Red Cross volunteer visit redcross.org.