Kitten Rescued by DATs in Jamesville Home Fire

Last month, Jackie Gillam and Robin Toppin were called to the scene of a home fire in Martin County.  Both ladies are Martin County Red Cross disaster action team members in addition to being part of the volunteer rescue squad in Jamesville.

Jackie Gillam provides oxygen to a kitten pulled from a home fire

Jackie Gillam provides oxygen to a kitten pulled from a home fire

All of the residents had gotten out of the house safely and the homeowner was trying to round up her pets including some cats and dogs.  Robin noticed kittens on the front porch and the owner said she had completely forgotten about them due to the chaos of escaping the fire.  Robin alerted the rescue team and Jackie accompanied a fireman to the porch where they carefully retrieved the kittens one by one and brought them to a safe area away from the burning home.

Jackie, a big cat-lover, observed one of the kittens was lethargic and did not appear to be doing well so Robin rushed to the truck to get an oxygen tank.  Jackie held the oxygen mask to the kitten’s face and he was soon resuscitated.  All of the kittens survived the house fire and Jackie even graciously offered to foster them until the owners could get back on their feet.

After the fire was out and the scene secured, Jackie and Robin positioned to the role of Red Cross volunteer and met with the family whose home was destroyed.  They were able to offer the family assistance to help them recover from the disaster.

Being part of the volunteer rescue squad works hand in hand with Jackie and Robin’s roles as disaster action team (DAT) members for the Red Cross because once they have provided emergency support they can meet with the families affected by the disaster and provide assistance to take care of their immediate needs including shelter, clothing, food, supplies, referrals and emotional support.

“When we get a call (for the rescue squad), we always grab our Red Cross bags because we know we’ll probably need it,” said Robin

Jackie has been with the Red Cross for many years and has been serving as a mentor to Robin who just became a DAT in the last year.  “She’s a been teaching me the ropes, she’s a great teacher,” remarked Robin.

Jackie and Robin have been a great asset to the Greater Pamlico Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and to the city of Jamesville.

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