Carolyn Harper stopped behind the parked American Red Cross truck to see if she could get something to help her clean the muck out of her flooded home.
She quickly learned that the emergency response vehicle (ERV), had more than mops and buckets. The day’s inventory included shovels, rakes, tarps, insect repellent, packaged meals and lots of water.
In this case, there was medical assistance from Red Cross volunteer Robert Britt, an emergency medical technician from Union, N.J., who was part of the ERV crew traveling the rural roads of West Virginia helping those recovering from the flash flooding.
Carolyn noticed the stethoscope around his neck and asked if he could look at her legs.
Like scores of others in the flooded areas, her legs had various cuts and scratches which if left untreated could become infected.
While she sat in the back of the ERV, Robert cleaned and bandaged her cuts. He didn’t find any serious problems with her legs, but suggested she see her physician just to play it safe.
“Thanks for your help. I really didn’t expect it, but I appreciate all of it,” she said of the checkup and the armloads of clean up items loaded into her vehicle.
Red Cross volunteer Dennis Carpenter of Spencer, WV, escaped the flooding and his helping his neighbors who weren’t as lucky. He said it’s really hard to put into words how he feels.
“It’s good to be able to help and it’s gratifying to know I can help people,” he said. “When you can provide people with the basics after a storm like this, it’s just a good feeling.”
At another stop, Dennis and his ERV crew found Jeff and Tina Mace outside cleaning the mud from the household items they salvaged. Tina said losing the kids’ clothes and toys was really hard to accept.
Like their neighbors, Jeff and Tina had little warning as the rain fell and the water rose, first to their backyard fence, then across their backyard and finally into their house. They grabbed what they could and drove their vehicle to higher ground.
“I thank God it happened in the day. If it had been at night, a lot of people around here would have died,” she said.