Inside the Bronx Fire Response


By Gordon Williams

The American Red Cross of Greater New York is the nation’s biggest Red Cross chapter — embracing all of New York City, seven suburban counties and even a small slice of adjacent Connecticut. It is also the busiest chapter — responding to disasters that leave people homeless more than 4,000 times a year.

Fortunately most of these events are modest in scale — fires confined to a single dwelling or even a single room. This is an inside look at an event that was anything but modest–the December 28 fire at Bronx County, New York box 3303 that left 13 people dead and more in critical condition.

It was New York’s worst loss of life from a fire in 27 years. I saw it from the inside as a dispatcher in the chapter’s Emergency Communications Center (or ECC). Continue reading


Why I Volunteer: Krystal Craig

Craig_Krystal_PicI started volunteering with the American Red Cross two years ago during the Okanagan Wildfires. 

I was working with the Snohomish County Medical Reserve Corps, when they received a call asking for additional Red Cross volunteers. I responded immediately, and was on my way to Wenatchee the next day. 

I worked in a Red Cross shelter for one week in Brewster, WA and fell in love with Mass Care. Since then I have continued cross training between Red Cross and Medical Reserve Corps. Continue reading

Sounding the (Silent) Alarm

By: Diane Toomey

Edited by: Nancy Waddell

CarolWarnerw_alarmSeven times a day someone in this country dies in a home fire, most often occurring in homes that lack working smoke alarms. A smoke alarm almost doubles your chance of surviving a home fire, one of the most common disasters in the U.S.

As part of our Sound the Alarm. Save a Life campaign, the American Red Cross is actively recruiting volunteers to install smoke alarms in high-risk neighborhoods throughout the Northwest Region and across the United States. Continue reading

News You Can Use to Keep Pets Healthy

By Gordon Williams

Photos by: Jen Blackwood

dog collage

We certainly love our pets: How else to explain why Americans own an estimated 78 million dogs and 86 million cats.

Because you do love your pets, and want to keep them healthy and happy, you should know about two recent news items dealing with animal health. Continue reading

The Many Benefits from KOP’s Working Party

By Gordon Williams

Photos by Gordon Williams

KOP Collage

Most times, a gathering of Red Cross volunteers and staffers would mean a disaster somewhere, with people in urgent need of assistance. But when more than a dozen volunteers and staff members gathered at the Bremerton office of the Kitsap and Olympic Peninsulas Chapter on a sunny mid-July morning, they weren’t responding to a disaster at all.

Continue reading