Red Cross Volunteers Begin Training

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Red Cross instructor Gathana Parmenas says volunteers with the Capital Area Chapter learned a lot in 2005 during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

One important lesson was training a host of new volunteers in the midst of a disaster.

"It is very difficult to train new volunteers in the midst of all the activity. We did as many as we could. However, it is always better to have the training occur before the disaster strikes," says Parmenas.

"The Red Cross is one of the best. The people perform and work hard to provide for others. It's good just to be able to help somebody and work with a team," says Red Cross trainee Gregory Winn.

Red Cross officials say the Katrina aftermath opened a lot of eyes. From the evacuation to the response, officials say things were out of the ordinary, but it doesn't mean the Red Cross has had to rewrite any rules of engagement.

"What's in the books now works fine as long as we have the volunteers and resources. Just put them to work and everything will come out fine," says Red Cross volunteer David Derovin.

Currently, the Capital Area Red Cross Chapter has close to 3,000 volunteers, with more on the way.