By Amy De La Fuente, American Red Cross Volunteer
At around 2:00 p.m. on Super Bowl Sunday, February 3rd, tragedy struck when a small plane crashed into a Yorba Linda neighborhood. Along with first responders, American Red Cross volunteers were deployed to the scene to provide disaster mental health and disaster relief services to residents impacted by the crash.
Upon receiving the call, Red Cross volunteers from Orange County and San Bernardino jumped into their vehicles and headed out to respond to the emergency. Gathering at the local Glenknoll Community Center, some volunteers talked with locals and while others supported first responders. Red Cross volunteers were positioned to open a Care and Reception Center at the local elementary school in the event that affected families required assistance, and Disaster Mental Health volunteers mobilized to bring compassion, care and comfort to those impacted. American Red Cross volunteers returned in the following days to check in with neighbors and offer additional mental health recovery services and referrals.
In recognition of their work and for their support of residents, Red Cross volunteers that responded to the Yorba Linda plane crash were recognized by the City of Yorba Linda at a Council Meeting on March 5, 2019.
Yorba Linda City Council members shook the hands of first responders and volunteers that helped at the Yorba Linda plane crash site. In the packed room, family members and responders clapped for one another and stood face-to-face with the roughly 300 individuals that responded to the incident.
Linda Voss, CEO of the American Red Cross Desert to the Sea Region, proudly called out the names of Red Cross volunteers who served the City of Yorba Linda on the day of the crash and in the following days: Pam Barrios, Toni Bradley, Hilary Bryan, Amy De La Fuente, Jim Earnest, Kelly Frankiewicz, Luanne Marek, Janice Mclnally, Christine Ney, Kimberlee Ross, Bill Spear and Rose Valdez. To the volunteers that were unable to attend, Voss sent a warm thank you.
American Red Cross volunteers are not afraid of rolling up their sleeves during emergencies. Each year, volunteers respond to hundreds of disasters in Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino Counties. Wildfires, home fires, floods and transportation accidents- these are just some of the disasters that Red Cross volunteers respond to throughout the year.
To learn more about the work of American Red Cross volunteers, or to become a volunteer, visit redcross.org/volunteer.