Red Cross Volunteers Train For Disaster - News and Weather For The Quad Cities -

Red Cross Volunteers Train For Disaster

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Preparing for when disaster strikes. Red Cross volunteers from across the QCA gathered in Moline Saturday to brush up on their disaster response skills. 

Robert White is one of the volunteers training, he has been a Red Cross volunteer for five years and says volunteers are trained for any situation. 

"They train you in many different aspects of helping people, what to do and how to do it," White says. 

Volunteers go through basic training with first aid, but also take courses in psychological first aid. 

"It helps us deal with people who are going through the worst stress they've probably ever had," Volunteer Jean Jacobs says.

They also go through more hands-on training, like how to drive emergency response vehicles through disaster areas and deliver meals. 

"You just have to get out, analyze the situation and use your judgment, your discretion whether you can safely go through that or not," White says. 

And also to expect the unexpected. 

"They pretty much lay it out on the line, they say you know what you may be sleeping on a cot, you may not have heat and you may not have three square meals a day some days and we didn't," Jacobs says. 

No matter how much training they get here, they say the real training comes out in the field, like when these local volunteers were deployed to help victims of Hurricane Sandy. 

"The training kicked in, we knew we had our jobs, we had a disaster assessment," Jacobs says. 

"There were a lot of streets we couldn't go down because they were three feet of sand in the streets," she adds of her Hurricane Sandy experience. 

But volunteers say all the training pays off in the end. 

"You know what to do, you know those steps and you help them get back into what they need to do to get their life back together," Jacobs says.

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