The American Red Cross in Greater NY today released two new episodes of its third-season podcast (part one available here and part two available here), which provides a behind-the-scenes view of emergencies that have shaped our nation over the past 20 years.
The episodes look back at the 2018 Camp Fire that destroyed the small California town of Paradise and neighboring communities in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains. The wildfire, which took 85 lives, was the deadliest in California history. Conversations with residents who escaped the flames, as well as those who saved lives and helped community members recover, bring the intensity of the disaster into sharp focus.
- Kevin McKay, a school bus driver in Paradise, Calif., helped rescue 22 stranded students on his bus, driving them along gridlocked, dark roads as pockets of fire burned all around them. Ponderosa Elementary School teachers Mary Petersen Ludwig and Abigail Gerspacher-Davis assisted during the journey, helping to reassure the kids and using torn, dampened pieces of a T-shirt as improvised breathing masks for the children. All the students safely reunited with their families.
- As the Camp Fire intensified, Allyn Pierce, a local ICU nurse at Adventist Health Feather River Hospital, worked tirelessly to help evacuate the hospital, including those with the most critical needs. After the last patients left the facility, Pierce and several colleagues evacuated in his truck. In the middle of his journey, Pierce drove back to the hospital site, amid the smoke and flames, and helped build a makeshift emergency room in the parking lot to treat new patients who found themselves stranded by the fire with nowhere else to go.
- Longtime American Red Cross Gold Country Region volunteer Robin Brinson (from Sacramento) helped open and run the largest shelter for Camp Fire evacuees at the Butte County Fairgrounds in Gridley, Calif.
- Chip Flores, Bonnie Flores and Klyda Flanders turned to the Red Cross for help after escaping the Camp Fire. Sadly, the historic wildfire destroyed their Paradise, Calif. Homes and neighborhoods.
The third season of the American Red Cross in Greater New York podcast features episodes about the 2003 Northeast Blackout, 9/11, Hurricane Maria, and the Paradise Wildfire (the Camp Fire). All provide diverse testimonials from a variety of voices including first responders, volunteers, news reporters and survivors.
Episodes can be found on Podbean as well as on other podcast platforms like iTunes, iHeartRadio, Apple Podcasts and Spotify by searching, “Red Cross NY.”
Seasons 1 and 2 of the Greater NY Red Cross podcast are available here.