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Red Cross Appoints New Disaster Officer

The American Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania welcomes Nicholas Garbacz as its new Regional Disaster Officer (RDO). He will lead disaster cycle services including disaster preparedness, planning, relief and recovery operations throughout the region’s 28-county footprint.

 “We are very pleased to have Nicholas join our organization in Western Pennsylvania,” said Patricia M. Waldinger, regional chief executive officer of the American Red Cross of Western Pennsylvania. “He has significant Red Cross experience and has been serving most recently as disaster program manager for the 31-county American Red Cross of North Mississippi.”

Nicholas’ primary duties will be to ensure that local teams maintain 24/7 readiness response to those affected by disasters, to build the regional capacity to respond to disasters, and to direct the training and management of the disaster cycle services staff and volunteers. The Western Pennsylvania region responds to more than 1,000 disasters each year, most of which are home fires.

Among disaster preparedness activities that Nicholas will be accountable for are the Home Fire Campaign, a multi-year effort to reduce deaths, injuries and property damage caused by home fires; the Pillowcase Project, an educational program for children in grades three through five; Mickey and Friends, for children ages three through five; along with other preparedness programs for seniors and residential facilities.

Prior to his Red Cross service in Mississippi, Nicholas served as a Sandy Partnerships training coordinator for the Red Cross in New York where he managed a recovery training program for Hurricane Sandy recovery in a five-state area along the east coast. Nicholas also has worked as a disaster cycle services volunteer for the Red Cross in the New York and Washington, D.C., areas. In addition to his Red Cross experience, Nicholas served as a professional services consultant in the marketing field and as a language and cultural training consultant with extensive overseas experience.

Nicholas began his new duties on April 4.