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Agencies working to form disaster team

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Community representatives met last month to establish a volunteer shelter team that will be able to respond quickly in case of a disaster. Training will take place Feb. 28 at the Army National Guard Readiness Center in EverGreene Industrial Park. Attending the initial meeting were, from left, Barb Wise, executive director of Greene County United Way; Mark Carlson, American Red Cross volunteer; Mary Bokat, Community Action Southwest; and Gene Komondor , planning and preparedness specialist with the American Red Cross, Western PA Region.
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WAYNESBURG – Greene County United Way and the American Red Cross are working together to form a Red Cross Community Evacuation Center Team – a concept intended to provide quick response efforts during times of disaster.


Barb Wise, executive director of the United Way, is seeking individuals to attend a volunteer shelter team training from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 28. at the Pennsylvania Army National Guard Readiness Center at 500 EverGreene Drive in Waynesburg.


A Greene County shelter team, which includes representatives from the American Red Cross, Catholic Charities, Community Action Southwest, Cornerstone Care, County of Greene, Greene County United Way, Salvation Army, Southwest Regional Medical Center, Waynesburg Borough and Waynesburg University, held a preliminary meeting last month to take the first step to initiate a shelter training and put in place an evacuation process.


Going forward, these Red Cross-trained volunteers will serve as an efficient, fast-responding team that will open and operate shelters within the community during times of disaster. The team will play a vital role in Red Cross shelter operations in Greene County, serving their neighbors in times of need.


“Involving local citizens in disaster response efforts creates a self-sufficient community,” said Victor Roosen, emergency services director for the local American Red Cross. “The ability to have residents within a community trained to set up a Red Cross shelter in the event of an emergency helps with overall response time, which is vital to help those in need.”


Area residents are encouraged and invited to join in this training and should contact Wise at the United Way office at 724-852-1009 to sign up. For more information on Red Cross Community Evacuation Center Teams, call 888-217-9199.


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