(February 21, 2021, New York, NY) --The American Red Cross in Greater New York is proud to welcome the 25 volunteer graduates of its Disaster Action Team Academy, the only such Red Cross training program in the country.
The Academy provides specialized training for these Red Cross volunteer leaders to deliver emergency assistance following local disasters in the Greater NY area.
“We are so proud of these highly-qualified and well-trained Greater New York Disaster Team Academy graduates,” said Mary Barnaby, CEO of the American Red Cross in Greater New York. “I know that they will strengthen our disaster response capacity and use their skills and compassion to help our neighbors after tragedy.”
About the Disaster Action Team Academy
Uikki-Onosai O’Bryant, American Red Cross in Greater NY Senior Program Manager NYC, oversees the Disaster Action Team Academy. She explained that “the New York area, with its highly diverse 14 million population, needed a unique training program to help us respond to dozens of local emergencies every week. We started this Academy in 2016.”
The Disaster Action Team Academy provides 15 hours of training, currently virtual due to Covid-19, that includes Psychological First Aid, COVID Safety, Disaster Assessment, Mass Care, Casework/Recovery, and Logistics. In addition to the courses, the volunteers go through 15 hours of field training, during which they learn and practice as trainees, shadowing experienced disaster responders, many who are previous Academy graduates, delivering assistance following local disasters.
They are trained to respond both on scene and virtually to fires, floods, evacuations building collapses and other emergencies in NYC, providing temporary lodging, food, blankets, mental health support, emergency financial assistance and other relief to individuals coping with loss and trauma.