Red Cross honored by governor

first_imgIn a ceremony earlier today, Governor Peter Shumlin offered praise for the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross on two fronts. First, as a sense of normalcy has returned in the wake of several disasters, the governor took the opportunity to commend the hard work and service provided by the Red Cross during April’s Brooks House fire in Brattleboro and the spring flooding that occurred across the state.  He took particular note of the role of Red Cross volunteers in carrying out the organization’s humanitarian mission. Governor Shumlin is joined by senior Red Cross officials, Red Cross board members and others in announcing grant funds to increase American Red Cross sheltering capacity.  Pictured, left to right, are Burlington Mayor Bob Kiss, Rob Mather (board member from Chester, VT), Tom McCabe (board member from South Burlington, VT), Governor Peter Shumlin, Barre Mayor Thomas Louzon, Tom Byrne (board member from Enfield, NH), Rick Cochran (board member from West Danville, VT), Gail DeNicola (Vice President, American Red Cross) and Harry Chen (Commissioner, VT Dept. of Health). Secondly, and to the heart of today’s press conference before an audience of senior Red Cross officials, volunteers, corporate partners, and other State officials, the governor praised a partnership that exists between the State of Vermont and the American Red Cross to enhance sheltering capabilities, ensuring that all Vermonter’s can access such shelters.  On this occasion, the partnership was illustrated through the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross’s receipt of state-administered grant funds. As part of the State of Vermont Emergency Operations Plan, the American Red Cross has primary responsibility for sheltering and feeding during times of disaster.  Today’s announcement by Red Cross officials and Governor Shumlin detailed the receipt of grant funds dedicated to increasing the capacity of the Red Cross to meet the sheltering needs of individuals with disabilities.  The event also highlighted recently received grant-funded equipment that broadens the capacity of the Red Cross to serve its general shelter population.The grant funds allow the Vermont & the New Hampshire Valley American Red Cross to obtain the equipment necessary to make significant progress in ensuring that people with disabilities can be accommodated and integrated into disaster shelters.  Specifically, the Public Health Emergency Response (PHER) funds, received through the Vermont Department of Health, allowed for the purchase of five new functional needs shelter support trailers, four of which will be stocked with durable medical equipment and supplies and one that will serve as a mobile kitchen support trailer. These specialized shelter support trailers obtained through the Vermont Department of Health grant funds build upon the traditional shelter trailers, funded by money received through the Vermont Homeland Security Unit (HSU).  Over this past year, five traditional shelter support trailers have been purchased with HSU funds, with each loaded with 300 cots, 600 blankets, a generator, beverage and food containers and other miscellaneous supplies and equipment. This spring’s flooding has highlighted the fact that a devastating disaster can strike our region at any time.  The ability of the American Red Cross to respond is contingent upon not just the dedication and compassion of its vibrant volunteer corps, but by ensuring that Red Cross staff and volunteers have the equipment necessary to carry out their mission.  Today’s announcement, and the grant-funded equipment that it represents, makes great strides toward that goal.  (Colchester, Vermont ‘ August 8, 2011) ‘last_img read more