Red Cross Applauds Local Volunteer

John Hall

John Hall

Whether it was as a Scout Master or soccer coach, John Hall always knew he liked working with people. The recently retired Ocean Isle Beach resident has found plenty of opportunities to interact and help others while volunteering with the American Red Cross.

“I like being occupied,” Hall said. “When you’re retired they say it’s a forever weekend.” With that in mind, Hall decided he wanted to do something that he loved; “helping people when they are most in need.”

Hall has numerous duties as a volunteer. He is a member of the American Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) in Brunswick County. As a DAT member, Hall explains his role as being “the first step” in the process for those affected by a disaster. “We’re trying to get them on the road to recovery,” he said. “We give money for food, clothing and hotel rooms. People are always appreciative.” Since beginning his volunteer efforts with the American Red Cross in January, Hall has been called into action six times.  All of those disasters have been house fires.

According to Hall the DAT responses can be very sporadic. However, blood drives occupy much more of his time. “Whenever there is a blood drive I am usually the one that does it.” His first job after college dealt with collecting blood so the blood drives were nothing new to him. Hall was motivated to participate in the blood drives due to their importance. “The number one donation you can give to the Red Cross is blood,” he said.

There are other odds and ends that Hall has picked up along the way. He is certified to drive the “ERV” or Emergency Response Vehicle. The ERV is used as a mobile Red Cross distribution center, moving supplies quickly to people in disaster stricken areas. He is also a certified instructor for anyone wanting to take a class on the sheltering fundamentals of the American Red Cross.

With his plate not full enough, Hall has decided to take on one more responsibility. He is currently undergoing training to be a government liaison in the Brunswick County Emergency Operation Center (EOC). The EOC is run by local communities across the country and is overseen by FEMA.  The Committee only comes together before disasters strike in order to map out a “coordinated preparation for disasters.” As the “point person” for the American Red Cross, Hall will be tasked with sheltering and feeding people in a disaster area.

There is one more thing that Hall hopes to do in his future with the American Red Cross.  “Someday I want to go on a deployment; that seems very satisfying. I guess we’ll wait and see.” If Hall ever does deploy nationally in response to a disaster he should be more than equipped to do the job, whatever that may be.

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