Monday, October 7, 2013

Because Disasters Happen

Drew Rosado, Red Cross
Volunteer & Student Nurse
Written by: Drew Rosado
CSU Fresno Nursing

Become Red Cross Disaster Prepared!! Volunteer,Volunteer, Volunteer! Do your part in helping your community!!! We have been most fortunate here in the greater Fresno area to have faculty leaders like Debby Dailey of the Central Valley Red Cross Chapter. She not only teaches nursing at Fresno City College, the first woman fire fighter in California, but also is the mobile manager for the western region of the United States for the American Red Cross. Putting it plainly, she is the onsite; go-to woman in charge. She mobilizes the emergency personnel during any major event in which the Red Cross is involved, thereby assisting many communities, both here in the state of California and Nationally.

Through her participation with Fresno State Nursing and the surrounding schools, she has made it possible for student leaders to become actively involved within the community and beyond. This is due to the fact that Debby advocates for the student nurse and allows us to practice under her license out in the field. She is always looking and willing to take us along for the ride wherever it may be. When the Tornadoes touched down in Oklahoma Debby was the first person I called. She immediately put me in touch with the right people through her office, and then it was no time at all until my fellow nursing leaders of today got together and volunteered wherever help was needed. 

A good part of my summer was spent helping the Central Valley Red Cross chapter in raising funds for the disaster victims in Oklahoma. My courageous fellow nursing comrades and I stood on the street corners collecting funds, we took calls during a telethon at our local chapter, and we set up pop tents at our local shopping mall over several days. In all, we raised nearly $25,000 + dollars for the victims in Oklahoma. This was exciting!! It didn't stop there, for the following month our state was plagued with fires both natural and set by arson. I assisted with the staffing of student nurse volunteers at a fire shelter set up at a Mariposa Elementary School. Even though I was not able to attend and help the victims at the shelter in Mariposa due to daddy-day care responsibilities; I spent my time coordinating student nurse personnel to man the shelter. My hat goes off to them and their huge hearts.

At the end of June we had our second phase of the disaster preparedness class. This allowed those students on summer break to get educated and sign up to volunteer. This allowed current students to volunteer locally within the state and graduate nurses/RN’s to participate throughout the nation with the Red Cross and the disaster’s victims. When disasters strike all eyes turn to medical personnel for assistance. The more prepared we are, the more we can be of service. The Oklahoma tornadoes were just one example of the type of situation we can get involved with. The most common disasters are floods and fires. These are the type of disasters that here in California our communities need assistance with.

I am an advocate for volunteering at the local level for The American Red Cross. I don’t see why one would not want to get involved, especially as a student nurse. The infrastructure is already in place for us to be certified and qualified by the Red Cross. There are so many avenues to take from teaching CPR classes, educating youth at schools, disaster volunteerism, or contacting our Community Health Director of CNSA (at the state or local level) and ask for assistance in setting up an educational day on your school campus to have Red Cross come and teach the Disaster Preparedness class. We have liaisons available to help us become educated and provide us with the tools to give back to our communities. The Red Cross was started by nurses, run by nurses for nurses. This is exciting to me, how about you? Let’s all be Red Cross disaster prepared today, to help our community tomorrow!

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