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Red Cross Is Recruiting For The Disaster Action Team Training

Ask the average person about the American Red Cross and chances are they will mention disasters like hurricanes and floods. But the majority of the disasters the American Red Cross Central Valley Region responds to are single-family house fires, which affect families locally.

At a scene, Red Cross volunteers work side-by-side with firefighters and other emergency personnel to ensure victims are given immediate relief. Immediate relief means getting them what they need most without waiting a day or more -- food, lodging, clothing, medication replacement, and mental health counseling. In the days following a disaster, the Red Cross continues to work with families while they find ways to rebuild their lives.

The Red Cross is made up from a workforce that is 96% volunteer based and is currently recruiting new members to join the Disaster Action Team (DAT). “Our goal is to have enough teams of volunteers to cover the entire Central Valley so that when a disaster strikes, the Red Cross can be ready and responding within two hours,” said Katrina Poitras, Emergency Services Program Manager.

Lend a helping hand and sign up today for the Disaster Action Team (DAT) Academy. The DAT academy is a FREE program that trains individuals to respond and recover from a disaster. The Disaster Action Team (DAT) is charged with the initial response for most, if not all, disaster events. This academy is for anyone who lives within Fresno, Madera, Merced and Mariposa counties. Our DAT teams are responsible for the providing coverage 7 days a week, 24 hours a day to those in the service delivery of the American Red Cross Central Valley.

The DAT academy is scheduled for February 15th through February 22nd at the American Red Cross Central Valley Region, 1300 W. Shaw, 3C. Times of courses vary so it is important to call and register will your local Chapter before classes are full.

The six day, 29 hour academy will train all new volunteers to:

  • Respond to disaster calls appropriately when on call.
  • Assist with medical and emotional needs (must meet specific criteria to be eligible).
  • Perform disaster assessments.
  • Assist in opening and closing a shelter.
  • Complete client casework and follow-up.
  • Communicate effectively with media and other community partners.
  • Provide Red Cross services to individuals without regard to race, color, sex, religion, national origin, age or handicap.
  • Upon successful complete of the DAT Academy, volunteers will then be able to answer the Nation’s call and respond to local disasters. To register for the DAT Academy or for more information please contact Katrina Poitras, Emergency Services Program Manager at (559) 455-1000 or by email at