New Hampshire Volunteer Lends Skills in Disaster Response

New Hampshire Volunteer Karen Dudley jumps in to help with Disaster Response following the Boston Marathon.
Being on the subway in my Red Cross vest and having strangers come up to say ‘thank you’ makes me proud to be a part of the Red Cross.

People from all over New England have joined since the Red Cross the bombs went off at the Boston Marathon. New Hampshire’s Karen Dudley is one who has been supporting the response since April 15.

“I was at the Marathon supporting the Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts,” she said. “I was there when the bombs went off.”

Karen was one of more than 400 Red Cross volunteers staffing first aid tents along the Boston Marathon route the day of the bombings.

She was stationed at mile marker 21, about 5 miles from the explosions. Nearly 150 redirected runners sought shelter in Karen’s first aid tent as they were evacuated from the course. With temperatures dropping and the runners wet from perspiration, Karen and her team had to act quickly.

“We had to keep people calm and keep them warm to prevent hypothermia,” she said.

When it was safe and all of the runners were cared for, Karen made her way to the Red Cross of Eastern Massachusetts offices in Cambridge where a full scale relief operation was underway. In the days since, Karen has been working on the relief operation helping to manage community partnerships.

“Our partners have really pulled together,” Karen said. “It’s amazing how many government, religious and community agencies are out there and want to help.”

Though it’s been 11 days, Karen doesn’t mind being away from her home in New Hampshire. She takes pride in the work she’s been doing.

“Being on the subway in my Red Cross vest and having strangers come up to say ‘thank you’ makes me proud to be a part of the Red Cross."