Disaster Work Preps Boston Student for School Year

Red Cross gives unique skillset
When you pick up a shift, you really don’t know whether there will be a fire that night, a storm hitting or if it'll be quiet. You go to bed and hope for the best, but you always have to be ready to go.

Mohammed Matinnejad is never quite sure what the day will bring.

Whether he’s in a classroom or out on a disaster run, Matinnejad doesn’t know what to expect. But he is sure of one thing: his work with the American Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts has given him the skills he needs to take on anything.

“When you pick up a shift, you really don’t know whether there will be a fire that night, a storm hitting or if it'll be quiet. You go to bed and hope for the best, but you always have to be ready to go,” he said.

Matinnejad is a student at the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, and picks up several shifts a week as a Red Cross disaster action team member.

He said disaster work has readied him for his fourth year of studies, which include Public Health and Pre-Med.

“Working in Disaster Services, you’re always on the go. You are prepared to respond to a small kitchen fire all, or to collaborate on a big operation for an upcoming storm,” Matinnejad said. “In school, not everything is always expected and you may have to deal with challenges that come along. I believe being part of Red Cross really made me ready to deal with those situations much better.”

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