The Hiwassee Chapter of the American Red Cross has issued another alert for volunteers based on a string of residential fires that recently impacted four Southeast Tennessee counties — Bradley, Polk, Meigs and McMinn.
On the weekend of Feb. 11-14 (Friday through Monday), five residential fires forced 19 family members from their homes, including one displaced family in Bradley County in the Heritage Hills subdivision.
The full weekend stretched local Red Cross chapter staff and volunteers, especially those in the Emergency Services Program, according to Michelle Hammonds who manages the community- and people-friendly initiative.
The string of blazes prompted the local Hiwassee chapter to issue another reminder, one that is coming at an appropriate time. The Hiwassee chapter is preparing for its next free New Volunteer Orientation at 6 p.m. on Thursday, March 3, at the Red Cross office located at 304 20th St. S.E.
Those interested in attending, or those wishing to at least explore the volunteer options, may contact the local affiliate at 472-1595. The website can be accessed at www.hiwasseeredcross.org.
“It is very important to have registered and trained volunteers to respond to these local disasters,” Hammonds said in a prior interview with the Cleveland Daily Banner shortly after the weekend of residential fires. “The chapter is in great need of volunteers to fulfill its mission by preparing for, responding to and recovering from emergencies and disasters.”
The Hiwassee chapter is searching for volunteers for all aspects of its operation — presenters for preparedness awareness sessions, health and safety instructors, disaster action team members and others.
“Anyone interested in changing a life, starting with your own, is invited to attend the next free New Volunteer Orientation session,” she stressed.
Those interested may register for the orientation session by calling or accessing the website.
The session will run from 6 to 8:30 p.m.