In the midst of an historic fire season, the Red Cross is looking for more people to help others in our community. Newschannel 6 took a look at their recruiting efforts amidst concerns this fire season could last through the year.
North Central Texas Executive Director Katrina Farmer says, "We have had about 30 more disasters this year than last year. More houses have burned down. We've had the wildfires. We've had incidents where we've had to respond more often." The Red Cross assists in any disaster, but this year Texoma has seen many devastating wildfires.
Those disasters have taken a huge toll in the number of volunteers needed. Duke Osborn has been volunteering to help out disaster victims for the past five years. He told Newschannel 6 how he helped during the area's most recent wildfires. He says, "We took out water, drinks, snacks. Took that out, we went to stations and supplied that to not just to clients that were out there that needed it, but to firemen."
Volunteers also help in disaster assessment and communications, and food, clothing and shelter. Osborn says, "Our 16 counties that we have that we help out, that we cover, they just came together. A lot of them came together, the people. And they donated so much just to help out with these big wildfires that we were having." Osborn says the biggest help comes in neighbors helping neighbors. He says, "They just need a shoulder sometimes to lean on. And I like to be able to be that shoulder. And I know the Red Cross likes to be that shoulder. And that's what we're here for."
If you're interested in becoming a volunteer, there is a training class Tuesday from 6 to 8 p.m. at the chapter in Wichita Falls. There is no fee for the training classes.