STORY: The FDNY helping in OK

May 27, 2013

Story by Christopher Sommer

The response to the devastating Oklahoma tornadoes on May 19 and May 20, 2013 brought in American Red Cross volunteers from across the nation.

After seeing the outpouring of support following the tragic events of Sept. 11 and Hurricane Sandy, 14 Red Cross volunteers from the Fire Department of New York (FDNY), Disaster Assistance Response Team (DART), are now working with the relief efforts here in Oklahoma as a way of giving back.

“What the World needs more is giving back to people, getting back to the grass roots, helping your neighbor out and make this world a better place,” said Chris Edwards, Red Cross volunteer and FDNY DART member. “With the help of the Red Cross giving us the opportunity to be able to come down here with the knowledge we have…it’s a team made in heaven.”

Edwards and a group of fellow FDNY have been helping in the communities by loading trucks and emergency response vehicles as well as going through neighborhoods helping directly with assisting Oklahomans. Even more, they represent a symbol of hope to those they encounter, commenting on disaster victims seeing their team and knowing help is there.

This is not the first deployment this New York City DART has mobilized to help others along with the Red Cross. Edwards and the DART members have responded to numerous disasters around the country, such as Hurricane Katrina.

“When people need us, we’re here,” said Ronaldo Robledo, retired FDNY.
“With [the support of the Red Cross] and our moxie, people get the help,” explained Michael Mondello, retired FDNY and DART member.

When speaking about the impact of volunteers and the support that poured into New York after their disasters, Edwards remarked on his drive to help others, “…whatever it was they did for us, it was the idea that they went out of their way to help us out…it’s a thirst to help people that will never be quenched.”

Thanks to volunteers like Edwards, Robledo, Mondello and Irving DeShields, the Red Cross is able to carry out its mission of proving humanitarian service to those affected by disasters.


Red River Floods: Postcard From Courtney Johnson

March 30, 2009

Red River Flooding: Postcard from Courtney Johnson

“When I woke up this morning, I knew the Red Cross sheltered some firefighters at the Moorhead High School shelter last night, but that didn’t prepare me for what I saw once I turned into the high school parking lot. There must have been 20+ fire trucks and a dozen or so smaller fire department SUV’s.

When I walked into the shelter, there were firefighters EVERYWHERE. One hundred forty firefighters from all over the state of Minnesota spent the night at the Red Cross shelter Friday night. Along with the 70 other shelter residents there were 210 people staying in the Moorhead High School shelter.

Most of the firefighters I spoke with were recruited to come up here with only an hour or two advance notice. They were coming up here to help the local authorities and have been assigned to be on the watch for any levy breaches.

Volunteers in a disaster relief effort take many forms. These firefighters, much like our Red Cross volunteers, are taking time away from their loved ones, time away from their daily routines and are coming up here to help the people in the flood affected areas with very little advance notice… and they’re doing a terrific job!”


Red River Flooding: Photos 3.25.09

March 25, 2009

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Red River Flooding 3.25.09

Red River Flooding 3.25.09

Red River Flooding 3.25.09

Red River Flooding 3.25.09


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