Boot camp held for Red Cross volunteers - | WBTV Charlotte

Boot camp held for Red Cross volunteers

(Sharon Smith | WBTV) (Sharon Smith | WBTV)

Not many people think about attending boot camp on a holiday, but for people who want to become trained disaster volunteers for the Red Cross, it was a big chunk of their Labor Day.

Volunteers spent three hours learning about various aspects of mass disaster relief including management, supply distribution, cleaning costs, and how to treat those affected by a disaster.

“We don’t expect everyone to remember every element of the training but we do want everyone to know when we get into these situations, there are certain rules and procedures for how we behave and how we treat our clients,” said Steve Nason, Disaster Program Specialist for the Western North Carolina Region of the American Red Cross.

Nason said there’s been a surge in volunteerism and they are greatly appreciative. With Hurricane Harvey relief, he said volunteers were told to expect deployment of two weeks in conditions where there was no electricity, at least initially.

The next boot camp takes place Wednesday, September 6 at 2425 Park Road from 6 to 9 p.m.

“When families arrive at a shelter, often with just the clothes on their backs, they are scared and often not knowing if they will be able to return home,” said Jennifer Heisler, a volunteer with the Red Cross. “By volunteering in a shelter, you can provide more than just a safe, dry place to stay. You will be a source of comfort and hope during some of their darkest days."

Volunteers interested in the training should contact the Charlotte Metro Volunteer Specialist Tamrah Jordan at

Due to the limited number of spots available for the Disaster Responder Bootcamp, pre-registration is required.

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