The Central & South Texas Region of the American Red Cross is proud to announce that a local volunteer has been selected to receive a national award, given to the most dedicated employees and volunteers in the organization.
Kevin McCoy, who has been a volunteer with the Red Cross in central and south Texas for 12 years, has received the Bob Hassmiller Excellence in Disaster Services Award.
The award is given each year to a volunteer who has distinguished themselves for their dedication to disaster response and recovery.
McCoy began volunteering in 2006, just after Hurricane Katrina devastated the Texas Gulf Coast region.
“I was sitting on the sidelines during Katrina, but I wanted to give back,” McCoy said. “When I retired in 2006, I decided volunteering with the Red Cross would be a good way to give back to the community.”
McCoy said some of his first volunteer experiences were fire response operations where he learned the ropes from Disaster Action Team Captain Bill Dorman. In 2008, McCoy went on his first deployment where he served as a shelter manager in the small town of Edcouch, Texas. McCoy’s wife Sandy is also a Red Cross volunteer and they always deploy together.
“My wife and I are a team, she’s an Emergency Response Vehicle driver,” McCoy said. “Our first deployment was to Edcouch during Hurricane Dolly. We had to drive across flooded levies to get to the school where the shelter was. Boy, were they glad to see us when we drove up.”
Another one of McCoy’s memorable times volunteering for the Red Cross was in between 2015-2016. “It was a very tough two-years, there were droughts, fires, El Nino was doing a lot,” McCoy said. “I was deployed for 168 days. It was a very stressful time, but also rewarding.”
In 2011, McCoy also helped begin the Red Cross Disaster Services Technology Team for the Central & South Texas region. When a disaster strikes, Disaster Services Team members quickly mobilize to set up the computers, printers, mobile communications systems and networks necessary for a successful disaster response operation.
McCoy is only the second person to receive the Bob Hassmiller Excellence in Disaster Services Award. The first recipient was last year, given to Red Cross volunteer David Williams of Anchorage, Alaska.
McCoy said the most gratifying part of being a Red Cross volunteer is the relationships you build with other volunteers and serving those affected by disasters.
“The camaraderie between volunteers and contributing to the mission to limit human suffering— that’s what keeps me coming back,” McCoy said.
The Bob Hassmiller Excellence in Disaster Services Award is named in memory of, and as a legacy to beloved Red Crosser, Bob Hassmiller. From home fires to hurricanes, Bob touched the lives of countless people during his 37 years with the Red Cross. He volunteered during numerous disasters, September 11 Recovery, Florida Hurricanes in 2004, Hurricane Katrina and Superstorm Sandy.