What To Do When the Cows Get Out
During the first week of the semester, in the food-scrounging era, I attended the year’s first general-body meeting for Vanderbilt Red Cross. The motivation was the free pizza being offered, but the payoff was a very cool meeting and an opportunity to be a part of something I’d never even considered! Since then, I’ve been to all the GB meetings (bi-monthly), plus volunteered at the Homecoming Blood Drive.
Today, though, I had an even cooler opportunity through VRC – Disaster Relief Training! The three-hour preliminary course introduced the basic concepts of disaster relief and the other more advanced training you can receive to volunteer in different capacities. We talked about the roles of businesses, community groups (such as churches), and the Red Cross in disaster relief efforts, and what an individual Red Cross volunteer can do to help. We also talked about some more esoteric situations, such as livestock handling; “What To Do When the Cows Get Out!” We briefly discussed the history of the Red Cross, the different sections of the American Red Cross (such as Blood Services or Disaster Relief) and the organization of a typical Red Cross district. The number of volunteers per paid employees is astounding – Only five people are actually “on staff” for Nashville and its district.
The course was super cool, informative, and technically qualified me to volunteer at the site of a natural or man-made disaster through the Red Cross. I’m anxiously awaiting the validation of my application so I can start looking at completing more courses, such as the First Aid/CPR or Disaster Assessment Basics, so I can get more involved with the Red Cross here at Vandy and in Nashville.