Thursday, August 17, 2017

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Liana and James Pesterfield - August 2017

James Pesterfield
 This month, the East Tennessee Chapter would like to recognize the FAST (First Aid Station Team) leaders, Liana and James Pesterfield for all the work they do and for their commitment to the Red Cross. The Pesterfields lead one of the 10 national FAST teams with the American Red Cross. This group of volunteers provides the first aid and medical care for many special events in the local area and the surrounding counties including Tennessee football, baseball, softball, swimming and other events like the upcoming eclipse watching gatherings in and around Sweetwater.

James and Liana have both been FAST volunteers for 9 years. They have taken this program from a small number of volunteers to a large group that has contracts with Roane State, Pelissippi State and South College. The FAST team is so popular there is now a waiting list for volunteers to participate for every event! The FAST team was responsible for over 5,000 of the volunteer hours for the East Tennessee Chapter in the last year, spearheading the success of exceeding chapter’s goal.

Liana Pesterfield
In addition to doing activities with this particular team, James and Liana serve in other ways in the East TN chapter. They are some of the first volunteers to step up when there is a need in the building - from painting, to cleaning, organizing and doing whatever is needed to make the jobs of others easier.

The Tennessee Region is better for having volunteers like James and Liana that serve selflessly in so many ways. 

Southeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Robert Gould - August 2017

Robert Gould is our Volunteer Spotlight! Robert first began volunteering with the Red Cross in Orange County, New York after retiring from teaching math about 25 years ago. Robert says he became involved with the American Red Cross because he has always loved working with people. As a teacher of 33 years, Robert was drawn to the many people-oriented programs that the Red Cross offered. Because he has always found it rewarding to help others, deciding to volunteer with the Red Cross was an easy choice for him!

Since 1996, when Robert first began volunteering with the Red Cross, he has been involved with a number of programs and relief efforts. Robert speaks fondly of his time working to place smoke alarms in residences throughout New York and, now, Tennessee. After moving to Chattanooga a year and a half ago, Robert has embraced a role in community outreach. He is, and always has been, dedicated to informing people about what the Red Cross does and the many ways it helps people. He took the initiative to ride along on disaster response calls so that he could observe and understand the importance of this work. Robert also told us about his experience volunteering with the Red Cross in New York after the attacks on 9/11. He says that despite the terrible circumstances, it was one of the most gratifying experiences he has had. As one of only two people at his center in Orange County, he took on a leadership role in the relief efforts happening throughout New York. Despite his own significant contributions, Robert only wanted to speak of the generosity of others during this time.

Robert has a very unique, life-long connection the American Red Cross. His father, who was a commercial artist, painted posters for the American Red Cross in the 1950s. These posters, which portrayed the numerous programs and activities of the Red Cross, were circulated both nationally and internationally. Robert brought these materials with him to Chattanooga, where he was able to prepare and give a presentation on them at an annual Red Cross event. People loved hearing Robert talk about his father and the history of his paintings. One of Robert’s co-workers spoke of this event when nominating him for Volunteer of the Month. “Robert is new to Southeast TN, but he has hit the ground running.  He was very instrumental in helping us move and catalog all of our historical documents, pictures, etc.  He worked tirelessly to create a beautiful and informative display for our Annual Meeting and will duplicate that at our Heroes Luncheon in October.  Robert has a lifelong passion for the Red Cross.”

Several others of Robert’s teammates had great things to say about him. One wrote that Robert has “excellent knowledge of expertise that benefits American Red Cross and the community. He is involved in various ways and exceeds the expectations by doing so.”

 All of us here at the Red Cross are grateful for Robert’s tireless efforts and commitment to helping others. He is truly one of a kind!

Mid-West Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Haley Warwick - August 2017

Haley Warwick is our August Volunteer Spotlight! Haley has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross of Mid-West TN since May 2016. Haley currently serves as our Community Partnerships Lead, in which she builds and strengthens relationships with partners across our 14 county coverage area. Haley also serves as a Disaster Action Team Member and has been assisting with chapter recruitment and engagement. Haley consistently goes above and beyond for her team, never shying away from a chance to help a colleague or develop a new skill.  Thanks for all you do, Haley!

Heart of Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Anita Murrell - August 2017

The Volunteer Spotlight this month is our “kitten rescuer”, Anita Murrell.  Anita moved to Tennessee about 10 years ago from Rochester, New York, settling in Murfreesboro in Feb. 2016.  Anita was the first female dispatcher in the Rochester Police Department back in 1971, but her career ended up in logistics and transportation management.  She was also a volunteer firefighter and medic for 10 years.

Anita’s background is excellent for her Red Cross role as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) driver- maintaining the 6 trailers we have covering 17 counties.  She manages all aspects of the ERVs, ensuring they are serviced as needed, moved where they are needed, and ready to go for a disaster call with adequate supplies on board.

Since joining the Red Cross 11 months ago, Anita has had 6 deployments, 3 national: Hurricane Matthew, Gatlinburg wildfires, Georgia tornadoes, and 3 local: Nashville and Chattanooga tornadoes, and Cookeville storm.  She is available for all disasters as well as going out on local house fire calls.

In addition to her commitment as an ERC drive, Anita works closely with Disaster Program Manager, Todd Griffin, as his volunteer partner.  She works side by side with Todd learning the position and co-manages operations, including dispatching volunteers to fires and other disasters.

Todd Griffin gives high praise to Anita:  “I couldn’t do this job without Anita, she is my right arm and a wonderful friend.”

The kitten rescue story involves a tiny kitten that crawled up on the motor of one of the trucks at the Murfreesboro office.  After closing the doors, Anita heard something and on investigation found the little kitten.  Anita adopted the kitten, naming her Red. Red is now the unofficial mascot of the Murfreesboro Red Cross office.

Anita's words of wisdom to others in volunteering for the Red Cross: “The most rewarding job you’ll never be paid for.”

Heart of Tennessee thanks Anita for her expertise in keeping the vehicles ready to go at a moment’s notice and for all that she does for the Red Cross!

Nashville Area Volunteer Spotlight, Michael May - August 2017

The August 2017 Volunteer Spotlight is Michael May! Michael puts in a lot of volunteer hours for many different positions for the Nashville Area Chapter of the Red Cross. Michael’s positions include; Disaster Action Team captain, Disaster action Team dispatcher, Disaster Cycle services, and Disaster responder. Michael first began volunteering with the Red Cross after he retired 5 years ago.
When interviewing Michael, he said the thing that drew him to the Disaster Action Team (DAT), was the action of being able to go out and help people.

“Volunteering with DAT helps me stay in touch with the community and really makes you appreciate what you have, said Michael.”

 Michael truly enjoys volunteering with DAT, and is on call all week Monday-Friday and even at night and on weekends when he is needed. Michael is truly dedicated to helping the community!
When Michael is not volunteering for the Red Cross, he enjoys watching sports.  His favorite teams are the Tennessee Vols, Tennessee Titans and he really loves watching the Hockey play offs!

Michael volunteers as much as he possibly can for the Red Cross, and does so much for our community.  Michael is an extremely valued volunteer, and we cannot thank him enough for all of the time and effort that he puts in to help and protect our community.

Red Cross Offers Eclipse Safety Tips

Millions of people are expected to make travel plans to see the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. The American Red Cross and emergency officials are urging people planning to travel to see the eclipse to come prepared.

·         Pack an emergency kit in case you get stuck in traffic or can’t find a place to stay. Include water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items including toilet paper, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.

·         Be informed. Learn how officials contact people in the area you are planning to visit in case of an emergency.

·         Let family or friends know where you are going and the route you plan to take to get there.

·         Arrive at where you plan to watch the eclipse at least a day ahead of time.

·         Check the weather forecast ahead of time and throughout the day.

·         Dress in layers so you can adjust for changes in weather conditions.

·         Create an emergency plan. Determine a location to meet in case someone gets separated from your group, and where to go if severe weather occurs.

·         Because cell service may be overwhelmed, print out your directions.

·         Know where you’re staying at night. Hotel rooms along the eclipse route are mostly sold out, and rentals are extremely high in some cities. Plan to camp if necessary.

·         Keep your gas tank full so you don’t run out while stuck in traffic.

·         Download free Red Cross apps to help you be better prepared.
o   The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with instant access to large-scale event tips, weather alerts as well as the location of any open Red Cross shelters.
o   The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid scenarios at your fingertips including heat emergencies. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at

·         If you are planning to view the eclipse, remember, looking directly at the sun is unsafe. For steps to take to observe a solar eclipse safely, please refer to information from NASA at

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - August 2017

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

We are asking everyone to help Sound the Alarm in Northeast Tennessee and be part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires. 

Here in Northeast Tennessee, we are holding a Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event on September 23rd in Bristol and again on October 7th in Morristown.  Events are also taking place in Johnson and Hawkins Counties during late August and early September. Red Cross volunteers and local partners will be canvassing neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans. Last year we worked together to install 1,395 smoke alarms.

There are many roles that you can fill at a smoke alarm event.  You may want to register the volunteers participating, serve the lunch provided at the conclusion, or be on a home visit team.  Please contact Angela Morris at 423-765-4218 to discuss the many opportunities.

Join us as we all work to have an impact on the safety of our community.  Please join this important effort. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.


Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Ellen Watkins - August 2017

From West Tennessee near Memphis to Mountain City is about as far as you can move and still be in the state of Tennessee.  That is the journey volunteer Ellen Watkins has traveled.  Ellen’s husband accepted a position in Mountain City in the early 2000s, so she made the move across the state and became a Red Cross volunteer in Johnson County.

Shortly after joining the Red Cross, Ellen took Red Cross Mass Care training in the aftermath of the huge response to Hurricane Katrina. Although she did not deploy right away, she began responding to disasters locally.  Ellen now serves as a Disaster Action Team captain in Johnson County and responds to disasters throughout the county and beyond if needed.

When asked how many national disasters she has deployed on, Ellen says she has no idea.  Her most recent deployment was to Gatlinburg for the wildfires.  Ellen’s love is Shelter Management because she feels the immediate needs of people when they come to a shelter are so primary.  She loves working directly with the clients and is very protective of the clients when they are so vulnerable.  She has worked as shelter manager in many locations from New Jersey to Texas and Florida.

While she normally manages client shelters, Ellen says one of the most enjoyable experiences she had was managing a staff shelter following Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.  She knew from experience that the staff needed their rest so she was as protective of their needs as those of the clients.  While there, she also drove the emergency response vehicle (ERV) when needed and says if she can drive an ERV in New York and New Jersey – she believes she can drive one anywhere!

When asked what she would like people to know about Red Cross in Johnson County, Ellen says the Red Cross is “ALIVE AND WELL” in our corner of Tennessee.  If you are ever up in the beautiful hills and valleys of Johnson County, give Ellen a call and she will be sure you get a royal welcome!

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - August 2017

Hello, Nashville Area Volunteers!

I am very excited about our upcoming Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event.I hope you’ll join me on Saturday, September 23 as we Sound the Alarm to make homes in Nashville safer.  Many of you have participated in our Home Fire Campaign efforts over the past several years and have seen the impact our efforts have had in communities across Tennessee. Sound the Alarm, Save a Life is a new nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires. As part of Sound the Alarm, our goal is to install 1,000 smoke alarms in one day in the Nashville area.

In order to make this happen, we need 400 volunteers who can install alarms and share fire escape plans with families.  If you would like to participate, please register at

In addition to volunteering, we are also encouraging people to raise money to help families prepare, respond, and recover from home fires. You can make a donation by visiting

Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.  Together, we can make our communities safer!

Joel Sullivan 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Letter from Southeast Tennessee Executive Director, Julia Wright - August 2017

The American Red Cross is on a mission to end home fire devastation and save lives, so we are once again installing smoke alarms across the country this year in an effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

This fall, the Red Cross is calling for 35,000 volunteers to join us nationwide. Our goal is set. All we need is the assistance of financial support and volunteers to Sound the Alarm by installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in high-risk communities in more than 100 major cities across the country. Between September 23 and October 15, our series of home fire safety and smoke alarm events will result in the installation of our one-millionth free smoke alarm.

The vast majority of Red Cross responses to the 64,000 disasters each year are home fires. These residential fires kill seven people every day and most of those deaths could have been avoided had smoke alarms been present.

Since 2014, Red Cross volunteers have installed almost 900,000 smoke alarms. The Home Fire Campaign has proven its effective value by saving hundreds of lives across the country. This year, with the help of more volunteers, we expect to see an increase in the number of lives spared.

We are constantly welcoming new volunteers and at this significant time we are looking to bolster recruitment with an invitation to new recruits who are enthusiastic about participating in the effort to save lives. The Southeast Tennessee chapter is encouraging everyone in our area to participate in our September 23rd Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event by registering online to volunteer at

Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director, Sharon Hudson - August 2017

The American Red Cross is on a mission to end home fire devastation and save lives, so we are once again installing smoke alarms across the country this year in an effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

This fall, the Red Cross is calling for 35,000 volunteers to join us nationwide. Our goal is set. All we need is the assistance of financial support and volunteers to Sound the Alarm by installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in high-risk communities in more than 100 major cities across the country. Between September 23 and October 15, our series of home fire safety and smoke alarm events will result in the installation of our one-millionth free smoke alarm.

The vast majority of Red Cross responses to the 64,000 disasters each year are home fires. These residential fires kill seven people every day and most of those deaths could have been avoided had smoke alarms been present.

Since 2014, Red Cross volunteers have installed almost 900,000 smoke alarms. The Home Fire Campaign has proven its effective value by saving hundreds of lives across the country. This year, with the help of more volunteers, we expect to see an increase in the number of lives spared.

We are constantly welcoming new volunteers and at this significant time we are looking to bolster recruitment with an invitation to new recruits who are enthusiastic about participating in the effort to save lives. The East Tennessee chapter is encouraging everyone in our area to participate in our September 30th Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event by registering online to volunteer at

We hope to see you there!

Letter from Tennessee River Executive Director, Katy Hagstrom - August 2017

For the Tennessee River chapter, the month of August is a busy and exciting time preparing for upcoming events and getting out in the community to share the mission of the American Red Cross.

On August 21, 2017 Clarksville and the surrounding areas will be at the point of totality for the solar eclipse. As our area expects to double its population with visitors from around the nation, we are preparing for any event that could occur while maintaining usual business and responses to home fires.

On September 14, 2017 we will hold our annual Heroes Luncheon. This fundraiser supports our responses and recognizes those throughout the community who engage in humanitarian leadership. This year, we will honor Pastor Jimmy Terry as our Humanitarian of Year and celebrate his astounding accomplishments and Humanitarian efforts in our community.

On September 23, 2017 we will kick off Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. Sound the Alarm is part of the Home Fire Campaign as a nationwide initiative to reduce the amount of fire related deaths across the nation. So far, there have been over 237 documented lives saved. Our volunteers and partners go into communities to educate people on fire safety, as well as check and install alarms for free. So far, the Home Fire Campaign has saved two lives right here in Clarksville!

It is with the greatest appreciation that I would like to thank all of our volunteers and staff members who have joined these initiatives to make our communities a safer place.

Letter from Mid-West Tennessee Executive Director, David Hicks - August 2017

Hello Mid-West TN volunteers! It’s hard to believe that school has already begun again and that summer is in our rearview mirrors. I hope that your families are getting back into the school routine smoothly and the start of the school year has been a good one so far.

Our chapter is already “knee- deep” in planning for the fall, and most of that has been centered on our upcoming “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” campaign. Sound the Alarm, Save a Life is a national Red Cross event taking place in every state and every chapter in September and October. Our Mid- West TN. chapter has chosen 2 counties from our 14 county coverage area to focus in on as we strive to reach our assigned goal of 350 smoke alarm installations (with a stretch goal of 400) as part of the campaign. The selected counties are Benton and Decatur with the specific towns targeted being Parsons and Camden.

Parsons will host its “Sound the Alarm” event on Saturday, September 30th from 9am- 2pm while Camden will follow two weeks later on Saturday, October 14th also from 9am- 2pm. The targeted goals by county are 200 smoke alarm installations in Benton and 150 installations in Decatur. If you would like to participate as a volunteer for one or both of the events, just let me or Heather know and we’ll be glad to add you to the participating roster. Both of these counties have expressed their appreciation to us for selecting them as our targeted areas.

A very special thanks goes out to our “Sound the Alarm” chairman- Chuck Mosele! Many of you know Chuck from his contributions on the disaster action team and as DAT Captain for Carroll County. As we visit the respective fire departments and EMA offices in Benton and Decatur counties, I appreciate even more the strong relationships that Chuck and Heather have already formed among their First Responder peers. Its moments (and events) like this where those relationships being built can prove to be so beneficial!

In addition to the “Sound the Alarm” scheduling and recruitment of event volunteers, we also have our Chapter Leadership Board soliciting funds and donor support from their friends and colleagues. They are being challenged to secure 15 people each to give toward this event. So, it’s truly a team effort from all players on the Mid- West TN chapter team!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in the game and Sound the Alarm with us! We’ll be glad to discuss the campaign further at our next All Volunteer Meeting and answer any additional questions you may have.


Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Kathy Ferrell - August 2017

Dear Heart of Tennessee Volunteers:

Thank you for your warm welcome to the American Red Cross!  My first day with Heart of Tennessee was Monday, July 31st and it’s truly been a pleasure already to learn so much about this organization and to connect with some of you.  For those of you I haven’t met, I look forward to connecting with you.

My journey to the Executive Director (ED) position feels like it is life coming full circle.  I actually worked part time for United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties when United Way rented space from the Red Cross.  It was extraordinarily humbling to see the work of this group firsthand during the Good Friday tornado in 2009.  Greg King was in the ED role at that time, and the response of his volunteer base and staff alike was remarkable.  I was also serving as the President of the Junior League of Murfreesboro at the time; we voted to provide an emergency donation of $10,000 to support the relief efforts and Greg agreed to be the keynote speaker at our Annual Dinner just one month after the tornado.  I can vividly remember thinking about the scope of services Red Cross provides in so many arenas I wasn’t aware of, and I remember thinking that this is an organization I could be passionate about serving.

The past 7 ½ years have been spent at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals where I created, operationalized, and directed the Mobile Health Ministry.  It’s been my privilege to serve this community in that capacity and I believe that work prepared me for this role.  Through a chance conversation with Greg, I learned the ED position was open with the Heart of TN Red Cross and decided to apply.  I’m incredibly excited that I’ve been entrusted with serving all of you.  Together, we have much to look forward to.  Please know you are appreciated and I look forward to being on this journey with you.

Kathy Ferrell
Executive Director
Heart of Tennessee Chapter

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Upcoming Disaster Volunteer Trainings - Heart of Tennessee Chapter - August and September 2017

The Heart of Tennessee Chapter is looking for new volunteers to help our disaster response teams! The disaster response team responds to every day disasters here at home like home fires and tornadoes, and also has the opportunity to deploy to national disasters. Below is a list of upcoming disaster volunteer training opportunities. To register, please call 615-893-4272. We hope to see you at an event soon!


New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, August 19th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, St. Thomas Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Damage Assessment workshop
Saturday, August 26th at 10:30 am
Red Cross, 1 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 201 Cookeville

Shelter Fundamentals workshop
Saturday, August 26th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Thursday, August 31st at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro


Disaster Action Team Workshop
Saturday, September 2nd at 10:30 am
TBA - Smithville, TN

Disaster Action Team Dispatch Workshop
Saturday, September 2nd at 12:45 pm
TBA - Smithville, TN

Disaster Action Team and Disaster volunteer Workshop
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, 1 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 201 Cookeville

New Volunteer Orientation
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:00 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Cycle Services Regional Meeting/Training
Wednesday, September 13th at 10:00 am
Red Cross, 2201 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Shelter Fundamentals
Saturday, September 16th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Health & Safety Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Damage Assessment
Saturday, September 16th at 10:30 am
Red Cross, Health & Safety Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, September 16th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Staff Workroom, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Monday, September 18th at 6:15 pm
First Baptist Church, 1006 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Thursday, September 21st at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

New Volunteer Orientation
Friday, September 22nd at 11:30 am
TBA - Fayetteville, TN

Disaster Cycle Services: Overview
Friday, September 22nd at 12:30 pm
TBA - Fayetteville, TN

New Volunteer Orientation
Friday, September 29th at 10:30 am
TBA - McMinnville, TN

Disaster Cycle Services: Overview
Friday, September 29th at 11:30 am
TBA - McMinnville, TN

Monday, August 7, 2017

Red Cross Issues 10 Ways to Help Keep Kids Safe as They Head Back to School

Put safety at the top of the list when getting kids ready for school

As the new school year begins, the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to help make the trip back to the classroom a safe one.

Safety should be the top priority for all students, especially younger children and those heading to school for the first time. Whether riding, biking or walking to school, we want everyone to arrive and then return home safely.


If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:

1.     Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
2.     Tell children they should only board their bus - never an alternate one.
3.     Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
4.     Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
5.     Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.
6.     Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
7.     If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
8.     Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going.
9.     When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards.
10.  Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down - especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

Parents should also make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. They should also teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.

TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS Red Cross training can give someone the confidence and skills to help with everyday emergencies from paper cuts to school sports injuries. A variety of online and in-class courses are available at People can download the free Red Cross First Aid App ( for instant access to expert advice whenever and wherever needed.

Monday, July 17, 2017

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - July 2017

As a new fiscal year starts for us here at the American Red Cross, I’d like to thank each and every volunteer for all that you do for the Red Cross and our communities. We wish to continue our work and make this the best fiscal year yet by providing great service to all, and creating various and numerous opportunities for our volunteers. We always have volunteer opportunities available, but one event I’m particularly excited about is Sound the Alarm, Save A Life which will take place Saturday, September 23rd.  

The American Red Cross asks everyone to help Sound the Alarm and be part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires. The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014. Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms on September 23rd, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.

You can learn about Sound the Alarm in the Nashville Area by contacting our Disaster Program Manager, Kevin Watt, or by visiting

The greater Nashville area is expected to grow by leaps and bounds over the next several years. This growth will mean more opportunity for serving those around us. The Red Cross is all about neighbors helping neighbors. Join us in making a meaningful contribution to your community by applying to be a volunteer, today! Also, feel free to share our volunteer opportunities with your family and friends!
 We hope to see you volunteer with us soon!
Joel Sullivan

Red Cross First Aid App Can Help Save Lives

Emergency situations that may require first aid can occur anytime, anyplace. The American Red Cross First Aid App is an important tool everyone can download to their mobile device, putting free and simple lifesaving information at their fingertips.
This app gives instant access to information on how to handle the most common first aid situations, taking critical first aid information normally stored on bookshelves and in pamphlets and places it at the fingertips of millions of individuals – in order to help save lives.
Videos and interactive quizzes are also part of the app. Users who take quizzes can earn badges they can share with friends through social media to show off their lifesaving knowledge.
The Red Cross app also includes trusted Red Cross disaster preparedness information for a number of common situations.
First Aid App features include:
  • Simple step-by-step instructions for everyday first aid scenarios
  • Prioritized steps to take during an emergency, with a 9-1-1 call button
  • Sharable badges to be unlocked through interactive quizzes
  • Videos and animations to make learning first aid fun and easy
  • Safety and preparedness tips for a range of severe weather
  • Preloaded content that gives instant access to all safety information at any time.

  • The content is available in English and in Spanish. Downloading the app is not a substitute for training. To learn more about Red Cross first aid or register for a course, visit training information on
    From how to be safe and prepared in an emergency to help for the nation’s active military and veterans all the way down to how to take care of your pet, the Red Cross has a suite of apps for mobile devices that includes something for everyone. Find all of the Red Cross apps in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to

    Southeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Vincent Carson - July 2017

    Vincent Carson is our June Volunteer Spotlight! Vincent is a retired fire fighter and EMT. After his son joined the military, Vincent had a lot of free time to fill. As soon as a friend mentioned volunteering with the Red Cross, Vincent knew that it was the right job for him. He began volunteering with the American Red Cross in March.

    Vincent is a member of the Disaster Action Team and has really enjoyed being a part of this group. He recently deployed to Memphis, TN during the widespread power outages. During this time, Vincent was willing to do whatever was needed to fulfill the Red Cross mission. He had a positive attitude and was excited to step up to do anything that he could to help. Vincent was in Memphis for over a week, and in that time he did a little bit of everything including case-work, logistics, and unloading trucks!

    Vincent’s favorite memory of volunteering with the American Red Cross comes from his time in Memphis. Vincent told us that he was incredibly nervous on his first morning in Memphis. He had never deployed before and wasn’t sure what to expect. “Every single person that I met that first morning was just so nice and welcoming,” Vincent said. He immediately felt more comfortable and at-home after talking with his fellow volunteers.

    Vincent has worked tirelessly from his very first moment with the American Red Cross. He is a dedicated and committed volunteer whose hard work and optimism are appreciated by everyone around him. He has had such an enormous impact on so many lives already, and we are all extremely grateful. Thank you so much for everything that you do, Vincent!

    Tennessee River Volunteer Spotlight, Deborah Dawson - July 2017

    The July 2017 Volunteer Spotlight is Deborah Dawson!

    Deborah joined the Tennessee River Chapter as a volunteer in the fall of 2016. For several years, Deborah had wanted to volunteer with the American Red Cross, so when she was invited by a volunteer to a Tuesday Volunteer Meeting and Potluck, she jumped at the opportunity. In less than a year, Deborah has volunteered in several areas which include Home Fire Preparedness Campaign, events, reception, and training. She has recently found her niche and settled in as the chapter’s Sheltering Lead.

    Deborah spent the greater amount of her life in Texas where she worked as a Caseworker for the aged and disabled. She moved to the Clarksville, Tennessee area to be closer to her family and has truly enjoyed being here. After moving to Tennessee, Deborah worked in real estate for some time.

    Deborah says that before she became a volunteer, she only knew what she saw on TV about the Red Cross.  “Now, a world of opportunities has been opened understanding the different lines of service the American Red Cross provides,” she said.  “I continue to volunteer because there are many different opportunities that are rewarding while helping the immediate needs of clients. That’s what motivates me.”

    Deborah has taken on the important role of updating all shelter teams throughout our twelve counties with necessary training. She continues to work hard and push through challenges that arise and all while increasing shelter partnerships.

    We are beyond grateful for Deborah’s work ethic and leadership skills. She has found a system that works and is putting it in action. Thank you for all you do Deborah, It’s astounding the difference one person can make, our chapter is reaping the benefits because of your work and dedication!

    Mid-West Tennessee Letter from Executive Director, David Hicks - July 2017

    Hello Mid- West TN Chapter volunteers! I hope that each of you are enjoying your summer and having a good time with your children as they are still enjoying summer break. Coming out of another July 4th celebration (but my first as the Director for our local chapter) I have begun to appreciate and celebrate the special relationship we share with the armed forces now more than ever.

    Each month, Executive Directors for each of the 8 Red Cross chapters in Tennessee come together for our monthly meetings in Nashville.  We were recently assigned to attend the planning meetings for different services of our organization (Disaster, Volunteer Services, Financial Development, Communications and Services to the Armed Forces). This is an attempt to further the Executive Director’s understanding and perspective on what each of the organization’s service programs provide and what the staff members of those respective programs are tasked with on a daily and weekly basis.

    My first assignment while in Nashville in June, was to join the meeting for the “Service to the Armed Forces” (SAF) program and to sit in among their discussions and brainstorming. I was very appreciative to be given an “inside” perspective on the amount of planning and preparation that goes into developing a strong partnership with the military bases across our state- and the commanding officers that we interact and correspond with. These strong ties allow for more effective results in our efforts to convey/ relay important family messages to military men and women in the line of duty, to provide family support (financial, emotional, mental, spiritual) when the soldiers are at home or abroad, and to more effectively organize and carry out the widespread collection and distribution of the letters and cards for the “Holiday Mail for Heroes” program. These are all HUGE undertakings that require much planning and coordinating that I often take for granted (and I’m sure some of you do too). We have a tremendous volunteer in our local chapter who does SAF services on our behalf. His name is Dave Brumley and many of you know him personally. We are very fortunate to have Dave at the helm on our behalf!

    After having met with our SAF Tennessee staff/ team members (and serving with Dave daily), I can honestly say they are an exceptional group that not only provides a lot of know how (due to many of them having military backgrounds) but they also work well as a team in their collaborations for the sake of the SAF program. Next time you speak with someone who serves on your local chapter’s SAF service team, please take a moment to thank them for the time and effort they invest in such an important outreach for the American Red Cross! You’ll be glad you did!

    Southeast Tennessee Letter from Executive Director, Julia Wright - July 2017

    The annual meeting of the Southeast Tennessee chapter was held June 21st ,  but this was no typical gathering.  This year’s meeting highlighted the centennial celebration of the Tennessee American Red Cross and particularly, of our Southeast Tennessee chapter.

    Although none of the packed house in attendance could represent the founding year of 1917 or even very early times, several of our long time members recounted interesting and unusual experiences from their years of service. Storytellers, Rickie Pierce, Oscar Brock, and new volunteer, Robert Gould, made our event a very entertaining and educational one.

    Robert came on board about six months ago, following his move from New York where he was very active in the Red Cross in the boroughs of the city and associated counties. Robert's father, John Fleming Gould was the artist who designed the signature Red Cross posters in the mid to late fifties. His original work commands impressive prices by collectors today.

    Robert shared the original works by his father with us as part of the visual display he created. Complimenting this presentation were vital parts of our much greater historical archive in clippings, printed materials and pictures that tell the story.

    Tennessee River Letter from Executive Director, Katy Hagstrom - July 2017

    Recently there was a cartoon on social media stating that, as humans, we’ve come full circle.  The illustration showed hieroglyphics on the left and emoticons on the right! Emoticons (and emojis) speak for many of us in the land of short hand on texts, emails, and social media, but it’s the “icon” that caught my eye.

    Icon, from the word iconography, is itself a short hand word.  Not only are symbols icons, but people are too, and movies or books or art work may be iconic.  In this connotation, it means something that stands out or apart from the rest. It has import and meaning and sets a standard to be followed.

    Celebrating the nation’s birthday this month, we Americans take quite a few “icons” to heart.  We proudly wear flag pins on our lapels, we understand the relevance of the stars and stripes and sometimes we dress with them on our clothing. The Founding Fathers are icons, as are the men and women, active duty or retired, who dedicate their lives to preserving our freedoms.  The national anthem may be difficult to sing, but it is iconic.  For those of us living in today’s world, we may better appreciate Lee Greenwood’s Proud to Be an American or Toby Keith’s American Soldier or even Billy Ray Cyrus’s Some Gave All.  We are unabashed in our patriotism. And, we wear those icons well.

    For those of us in service to our communities through the American Red Cross, we too, proudly wear our icon, the red cross.  This icon is universally understood and comes not only with pride and responsibility for those who wear it, but also with an understanding and expectation from those we serve.  The red cross icon radiates hope and help for those in need, it represents our desire to give back to our communities in the most difficult of times, and it represents a strong family bond for Red Cross volunteers and staff.  

    Who knows if we’ve really come full circle, back to a time when pictures could and did serve as a written language? I see the humor in that cartoon.  While we may be too busy to write the written word instead of symbols in our everyday world, we are not too busy to stand with our country as we wear its icons, and, we certainly are not too busy to don our red crosses and venture out to help others.  And that brings great pride and comfort. Those red crosses help us stand out from all others, setting a standard of excellent care.

    Katy Hagstrom | Executive Director
    American Red Cross

    East Tennessee Volunteers in the Spotlight, Joe Thompson and Melissa Sykes - July 2017

    Joe Thompson, Managing Director for Raymond James and Associates in Knoxville, TN became part of the ARC Board in FY16 after chairing the amazingly successful and impactful Medal of Honor event in 2015 for Knox County.  Joe immediately began working on our Lifesaver Breakfast honoring Governor Bill Haslam (2016), and the Pedal for the Red and Celebrate RED Centennial tailgating (2017).

    Joe has been instrumental in helping the local chapter with collaborative opportunities at the University of Tennessee, Visit Knoxville, Blackberry Farms, Pilot/Flying J, Regal Entertainment and the Raymond James Foundation. He has played a key role in bringing ideas and energy to our board and working to raise essential fundraising dollars to support our local chapter.

    Joe’s heart lies with our Service to Armed Forces (SAF) program. He serves on our local SAF committee as well as being an active member of ETMAC.

    Joe is a force to be reckoned with….he has the drive and passion and desire to grow our local chapter into a self-sufficient, fundraising team of community volunteers.

    Melissa Skyes is Adjunct Professor at Pellissippi Technical Community College and Former Vice President for Content Diversity (Retired) at Scripps Networks Interactive.   Melissa has served on the ARC Board since FY2014, and has been the co-chair for philanthropy for several special events: Red, White and Rock with Sara Evans (2014), Lifesaver Breakfast honoring Coach Phillip Fulmer (2015), Lifesaver Breakfast honoring Governor Bill Haslam (2016), and the Pedal for the Red and Celebrate RED Centennial tailgating (2017).

    Melissa brings an amazing resume of talent, time and energy to our local board.  Her integrity and professional compass, as well as her drive for success has created a PR and Marketing template that is to be rivaled.  She gives well above 100% of her focus and desire to serve our chapter, and has absolutely allowed us to grow and meet our fundraising goals each and every year.  She even manages to volunteer her husband, daughter and grandson in some of our team fundraising efforts.

    Melissa has a heart of gold and is a brilliant leader of our local philanthropy objectives!

    East Tennessee Letter from Executive Director, Sharon Hudson - July 2017

    As another fiscal year comes to a close and new one begins, I would like to take this opportunity to thank each volunteer for your time and dedication to the Red Cross.  I have had the pleasure to meet many of our long time volunteers in the office and in the community, and I love hearing stories about why our volunteers engage with the Red Cross and our mission.  We have had a lot of activity while painting and cleaning up our building, serving the community and preparing for events, such as Pedal for the Red and Sound the Alarm. Save a Life.

    Last month, the East Tennessee Chapter for the American Red Cross opened for the National Championship Cycling Weekend with Pedal for the Red, a family friendly ride.  We partnered with Visit Knoxville, USA Cycling, Medalist, and Blackberry Farm.  It was a phenomenal weekend and very rewarding to form new partnerships in the community.  We also marked the weekend with our 100 Year Centennial celebration.  It was an incredible weekend for all who participated and volunteered.  This was the first year for Pedal for the Red and with a lot of sweat and hard work…the event surprised all.

    We are very grateful for our Presenting Sponsor, Phillips and Jordan, Event Chair Christy Phillips, Board Members Joe Thompson and Melissa Sykes, and former University of Tennessee quarterback, Heath Shuler.  Several of our board members and volunteers flipped pancakes, provided food, and a few of our volunteers rode the 4.8 mile course along closed Knoxville streets.  It was a great representation of the spirit of the Red Cross!

    With our Pedal for the Red behind us, we now shift our energy and focus to Sound the Alarm. Save a Life, a recurring national signature event this October tied to installing smoke alarms in at-risk neighborhoods.  This is a big step for us, and will get everyone involved in our mission, drive community connections, and most importantly—save more lives!  Our national goal is to install 100,000 smoke alarms—including our 1 millionth smoke alarm during the period from September 30 through October 15th.  Gary Dakolios and Kendra Taylor have already completed a lot of the planning, and I am thankful for this groundwork.   This event will require a lot of volunteer involvement to make it successful and we need your help.  If you have an interest in marketing, fundraising, and community outreach, please contact me.  We have many roles to fill, and I would love your support and participation in this incredible opportunity.

    Thank you,

    Sharon Hudson

    Heart of Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Wendy Bottomley - July 2017

    Wendy Bottomley is the Volunteer Spotlight and Volunteer of the Year for the Heart of Tennessee (HOT) Red Cross.  Wendy began her volunteer service with Caney Fork Chapter of the Red Cross and remained when the chapter merged with HOT.  She has been with the Red Cross now for 5 1/2 years.

    Wendy was born in Florida and attended the University of Florida (Go ‘Gators!) graduating with a degree in Nursing.  She then enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps spending 10 years on active duty and 18 years in the Army Reserves before retiring from the Army.

    After her Army career, Wendy worked for Healthspring in managed care for many years.  When she retired, she found she needed to be intellectually stimulated and began looking for areas in which to become involved.  In addition to the Red Cross she volunteers for the Lions Club, Military Officers Association and as a hospice volunteer.  She plays the piano, gardens and likes to stay physically active by biking and cross fit training.

    Wendy brings her many skills to the Red Cross and works for Volunteer Services doing intake for new volunteers.  The applications are done through a national process.  Wendy monitors the applications that are sent to Heart of Tennessee chapter and works to process new volunteers.  She also volunteers on a national level for volunteer services.

    Heart of Tennessee Red Cross thanks Wendy for her many hours of service each week in helping new volunteers get started in this rewarding volunteer field!

    Letter from Heart of Tennessee Regional COO, Greg King - July 2017

    Heart of Tennessee Chapter,

    Please join me in welcoming Kathy Ferrell as the new Executive Director for the American Red Cross Heart of Tennessee.  Kathy will assume her role on July 29th.   Kathy comes to us from St. Thomas Rutherford Hospital where she served as the Manager of Community Health and Benefit.  Kathy has, in her tenure with St. Thomas, managed the hospital’s volunteer program and secured a $500,000 grant to custom build a new Mobile Medical Unit.  Kathy is very active in the community, where she has received multiple service awards and served on the numerous boards.

    Prior to joining the St. Thomas staff, Kathy was a member of the United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties, where she served as the Project Pass director.

    Kathy brings exceptional relationship building skills and field experience to our Executive team and I look forward to watching her lead the Heart of Tennessee team into our second century.

    On another note, the new fire detection system is currently being installed in the chapter office and should be the last hurdle, outside of the state inspection to be up and running.  Also, work is progressing on Broadmore Avenue and with some luck, hopefully we will have full use by August, making entry and exit easier.

    We are looking forward to a great summer and hope to see many of you in the field or in the office over the next few months.

    Greg King
    Regional COO

    Northeast Tennessee Letter from Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - July 2017

    A new year begins!

    The American Red Cross operates on an annual cycle that runs from July 1st to June 30th.  That means for us we are starting our second century of service to the residents of Northeast Tennessee.

    As we ended the month of June with our Annual Meeting, we took time to reflect on the milestones reached in our first 100 years and enjoyed stories that have been passed down to us -  the intrepid Red Cross worker travelling in a model T from Johnson City to Surgoinsville to provide disaster relief, the instructor training the first lifeguards in swimsuits that brought smiles to our faces, and the Red Cross home nurse travelling the back road to deliver health care painted pictures of our past with their stories.

    Looking forward to the next 100 years, we must leave our stories for the future volunteers and staff providing Red Cross services to Northeast Tennessee.  Do you have a story?  Of course, you do. I hear them every time we gather for a meeting, event, or training.  The volunteer listening to the elderly couple whose house burned as they relive their memories of the home they have lived in for 40 years has a story to share.  The instructor delivering preparedness information to 4th grade students who are sometimes entertaining, sometimes wise beyond their years, and always amazing.

    Maybe you are the volunteer who visits a veteran at the VA and takes a few minutes of your day to say thank you and deliver a smile to one who has earned our unending gratitude.  You have a story to make the statistics come alive.

    Whatever your role with the Red Cross, there is a story waiting to be told.  Help me save these stories for the next centennial celebration.  Take a minute and write your story down or send me an email saying you have a story to share.  One of us will call you to listen to your story and write it down.

    You are the American Red Cross of Northeast Tennessee and your story needs to be told.  Please help me build storybook of memories for the folks in 2117 to enjoy!


    Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Bill Page - July 2017

    If you live in Grainger, Hancock, or Claiborne County and become a Red Cross volunteer you will likely meet Bill Page.   Bill is currently the DAT (Disaster Action Team) Captain for those counties and provides local orientation to new volunteers – giving them the lay of the land so to speak – for their volunteer service.

    Bill has lots to share, as he has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross since 1972.  At the time he was in the US Army and assigned recruiting duty in Charleston, West Virginia.  He visited the Red Cross office in his role as the Army Recruiter and ended up as a life guard instructor. As often is the case with Red Cross volunteers – this role expanded and Bill was soon also a First Aid and CPR instructor.  In 1976 Bill was assigned to Korea and his Red Cross volunteer service followed him there.  His next assignment was in Kansas City where he became an Instructor Trainer.

    When Bill retired from the military in 1980 he ended up in Michigan filling another of his roles – as a minister.  But the Red Cross service continued and even provided Bill with a paid position as the Health Services Coordinator for a 3 person office.  There he learned how to do many jobs for the Red Cross and was soon handling Service to Military messages and occasional disaster calls. His time in Benton Arbor Michigan gave him a deep understanding of the role of the Red Cross in a community.
    From Michigan, Bill retired again and ended up in Hancock and then Claiborne County in Tennessee.

    Bill settled on working with the Red Cross in disaster services and proudly works as DAT Captain for several counties.  He also serves as the liaison with Emergency Management.  If you travel to any of those counties be sure to look up Bill!

    Heat Safety Tips

    Beat the heat this summer with our Red Cross safety tips for heat exhaustion and heat stroke!

    Heat Exhaustion Symptoms: Cool, moist, pale or flushed skin, heavy sweating, headache, nausea, dizziness, weakness and exhaustion.

    If you notice someone experiencing these symptoms, here are some helpful tips! First, you’ll want to move them to a cooler place. Next you’ll need to remove or loosen tight clothing and spray the person with water or apply cool, wet cloths or towels to the skin. Try fanning the person. If they are conscious, give small amounts of cool water to drink. Make sure the person drinks slowly. Be sure to watch for changes in condition. If the person refuses water, vomits or begins to lose consciousness, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number.

    Heat Stroke Symptoms: Hot, red skin which may be dry or moist, changes in consciousness, and vomiting and high body temperature.

    In you find yourself or someone around you in this life threatening situation, here’s what to do: First, call 9-1-1 or the local emergency number immediately if someone shows signs of heat stroke. After calling 9-1-1, move the person to a cooler place. Next you’ll need to quickly cool the person’s body by immersing them up to their neck in cold water if possible. Otherwise, douse or spray the person with cold water, or cover the person with cold, wet towels or bags of ice.

    For more information on how to best beat the heat, visit our website at

    Nashville Area Volunteer Spotlight, Rick Loyd - July 2017

    The July Volunteer Spotlight is Rick Loyd! After 40 years in federal law enforcement, mostly with the FBI, Rick retired from his career in 2009 and was looking for a way to serve the community when he came across the Red Cross.  Rick discovered that while conducting interviews and taking volunteer classes with the Red Cross, it was essentially everything that he had been doing during his career, so his volunteer position with Disaster Action Services worked out really well.

    Rick has now been with the Red Cross for 7 years, joining just before the 2010 Floods in Nashville. Since he began volunteering, Rick has deployed on several disasters.  His disaster role now includes follow-up case work for the Red Cross Nashville Area Chapter.

    In addition to volunteering with the Red Cross, Rick enjoys reading, hiking, target shooting, and volunteering with other non-profits in the area.

    Rick is a dedicated and passionate volunteer and we are so lucky that he spends his time volunteering with us!

    Friday, June 16, 2017

    Heart of Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Sam DiNicola - June 2017

    Meet Sam DiNicola, the Heart of Tennessee Chapter volunteer spotlight for June 2017.

    Sam was born and raised in Utica, New York with southern roots from his mother.  When the time came to go to college, he chose Vanderbilt.  After receiving his bachelor’s degree, he went on to earn a Masters in Social Work from the University of Tennessee.  For 37 years he worked for the Tennessee Department of Correction in various positions such as in the correctional office, administration, and lastly as the Superintendent of the Tennessee Correction Training Academy.  While in this last position he also took a position on the local Red Cross Board.  In June 2013, after retiring, he joined the Red Cross as a disaster action team volunteer and has been extremely busy ever since.

    Sam keeps track of the disasters he has responded to for the Red Cross.  Since June 2013 he has helped at 147 disaster responses (averaging 4-5 a month), helping 463 people who were left homeless due to a disaster of some type.  These disasters have included single family home fires, apartment fires, tornadoes, and trees falling on houses.  He regularly responds to disasters in Coffee, Warren, Franklin, and Lincoln Counties and on occasion in Bedford, Marshall, and Rutherford Counties.

    In addition to being Disaster Action Team (DAT) Captain, Sam also  fulfills duties with Disaster Cycle Services, and as Disaster Responder, and Home Fire Preparedness Campaign Member.

    Sam is motivated by the satisfaction of helping those in need. He gives credit to the wonderful leadership of the Heart of Tennessee Chapter.

    From the Heart of Tennessee Chapter: Thank you, Sam for the countless hours of helping the people of Middle Tennessee.