Weatherford Democrat

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January 8, 2013

Red Cross needing volunteers

By CHRISTIN COYNE

From feeding and hydrating a hundred firefighters at an all-day church fire in Adell, to responding in the middle of a cold, wet night to the scene of a house fire displacing a Weatherford family, the same group of fewer than a dozen volunteers with the Red Cross have been responding night and day recently to incidents in Parker County and beyond. 

The Red Cross is looking for more volunteers who can respond to the everyday area emergencies as well as be available and trained in the event of larger-scale emergencies. 

Because of the heavy grassfire season, it’s been a particularly busy year for the Weatherford-based group that sends disaster response teams throughout Parker County, as well as Mineral Wells and Palo Pinto County, which has no similar response unit, disaster field specialist Richard Diano said. 

Just over the recent holiday season, local Red Cross volunteers spent Christmas Eve at a house fire in the Peaster area and early morning hours of New Year’s Eve at a house fire in Weatherford. Multiple other responses over the three-week period included two house fires in Mineral Wells. 

Incidents usually last two to eight hours apiece, and they generally need two to three volunteers initially responding to incidents, as well as additional volunteers depending on the number affected and whether it’s a sustained incident, he said.  

Diano is in charge of building disaster response teams for a seven-county area that includes Parker. But the lack of volunteers also has him responding right alongside them to fires and other incidents in the middle of the night. 

He’d like to bring the numbers up so volunteers can commit to responding during either daytime or nighttime hours for a week-long period rather than both day and night, Diano said. 

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