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Faster Training for Red Cross Volunteers

American Red Cross

Faced with trying to staff two huge, natural disasters, the Red Cross is trying to recruit more volunteers. And it's offering an accelerated training class, called "Just In Time," so more people can be ready to help as soon as possible.

Amber Wood, executive director of the Red Cross chapter serving the Quad Cities and west central Illinois, says volunteers are normally trained in class and online over several weeks or longer. But "Just In Time" covers all that material in one day. 

"Where they're learning about the basics of the American Red Cross disaster services, deployment basics, as well as sheltering fundamentals, and an "everyone is welcome" class. To really help those volunteers be ready to deploy in a short time."

Once the class is completed, the average deployment can last about two weeks.

Wood says the "Just In Time" one-day classes will be offered across Illinois starting on Saturday (9/16), including classes in Peoria (9/16), Quincy (9/23), and Moline (9/30). Training is free but registration is requested. 

And as of Monday, she says 91 volunteers and staff from her Red Cross chapter have been deployed or are en route to Texas and Florida following Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.

A native of Detroit, Herb Trix began his radio career as a country-western disc jockey in Roswell, New Mexico (“KRSY, your superkicker in the Pecos Valley”), in 1978. After a stint at an oldies station in Topeka, Kansas (imagine getting paid to play “Louie Louie” and “Great Balls of Fire”), he wormed his way into news, first in Topeka, and then in Freeport Illinois.