Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas seeking volunteers for new role

The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas are seeking multiple volunteers to serve in the new role of regional disaster duty officer. 

The remote dispatch position will help locals in the region by sending out Red Cross response teams during emergencies. 

“Previously, we had a local disaster duty officer volunteer in each chapter area, but recently changed to a regional approach, expanding the role to have greater responsibilities,” Chris Harmon, regional disaster officer for the American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas, told Carthage News. 

“Now the regional disaster duty officer takes calls from about half of the two-state region, rather than a small number of counties, and they dispatch local on-call teams to provide immediate assistance to those affected by home fires or other disasters.”

The Missouri and Arkansas Red Cross respond to significantly more home fires than other Red Cross divisions in the United States. 

“This doesn’t mean we have more fires in our region, but it does mean through our partnerships with fire departments and with the help of our many volunteers, Missouri-Arkansas Red Cross has the highest response rate in the nation following home fires,” Harmon told Ozark Radio News. 

The regional disaster duty officer will coordinate with local fire departments on this front to deliver adequate response times and emergency aid.

Online training will be provided for the new role. Volunteers must have access to internet and telephone and will be asked to sign up for two six-hour on-call shifts per week. 

“We’re looking for individuals who are detail-oriented, like to multi-task, solve problems, and are able to stay calm in what can be a highly stressful or emotional situation,” Harmon said. “Since the role is done from home, volunteers can live anywhere in the region.”

The American Red Cross in both states is asking for 35 or more volunteers to fill the newly expanded position.

“The disaster duty officer, or DDO, serves as a lifeline and the first point of contact to people affected by fires or other local disasters,” Harmon said. “After taking the initial call and collecting basic information, the volunteer will then dispatch other local volunteers to the home fire or disaster site to assist the individuals impacted.”

The Red Cross also is searching for greeters, blood drive volunteers and individuals to transport blood to hospitals. Public affairs, communications, administration, volunteer services and other Red Cross departments are looking for additional workers as well. 

To learn more about volunteer opportunities with The Red Cross, visit this link or call 314-516-2732. A virtual webinar is also available here

About The Author

Get News, the way it was meant to be:

Fair. Factual. Trustworthy.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.