Responders Jump Into Action
On that Friday, when a call about the Brooklyn fire came in to the Red Cross of Greater New York headquarters in Manhattan, volunteers who were on call acted immediately. The team that was dispatched included two DAT members (a volunteer and supervisor), and an intern with the communications department. Before heading out, the team members put on Red Cross gear including large coats, gloves, helmets and boots, before grabbing a few extra supplies to throw into the back of a fully stocked Emergency Response Vehicle.
When the team arrived on the scene, the resident in 6A seemed calmer than would be expected. She wore open-toed flips despite the 15-degree weather, because they were the only pair of shoes that hadn’t been destroyed in the fire. She said she was surprised at how quickly the Red Cross responders had arrived, and the gratefulness for their presence was apparent through both her kind words and the relief on her face. Since the woman wouldn’t be able to stay in her apartment, the responders gave her blankets, a pair of shoes, toiletries and other necessities to help her get through the following days.
Red Cross assistance often includes food, a safe place to stay, financial assistance, relief supplies, emotional support, health assistance and longer-term casework. In this instance, the Red Cross was able to provide the woman from 6A shelter in a nearby hotel for the weekend as she assessed her next steps. After leaving the apartment, the responders made calls to document the woman’s case so that Red Cross case workers would be able to reach out to her to provide additional resources.