Local Red Cross preparing volunteers for fire season with boot camp

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- For the local Red Cross, preparation is key. With wildfire season quickly approaching Jessica Piffero, Regional Communications Director for the Red Cross, said they want to make sure volunteers are ready for whatever Mother Nature throws their way.

"This is really the time of year where, we are making sure we have the volunteers in place, we have the supplies we need so that when those wildfires start in the spring and summer, we are ready to go."

Last year, the Red Cross responded to at least five wildfires-- one of the most destructive was the Detwiler Fire that burned more than 80,000 acres and destroyed 63 homes.

"During the Detwiler Fire, we opened five shelters in a matter of hours and we were caring for hundreds of people," said Piffero.

Piffero said volunteers need to be properly trained to assist in disasters, and next month they will do that through their shelter boot camp training. The three day course will offer a simulation and focus on a wide variety of topics including physical and mental care.

"We need to care for them spiritually, mentally, and emotionally. So we are going to teach them psychological first aid form the Red Cross perspective."

The training starts April 19th in Oakhurst.

For more information click here or email the local Volunteer Services team at volunteer.centralca@redcross.org.
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