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“Enormous need” for American Red Cross volunteers as high fire danger persists

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- The American Red Cross in Colorado is reaching a critical level when it comes to having enough volunteers to respond to natural disasters across the state.

“The need is enormous,” Catie Ballenger, a spokeswoman for the American Red Cross in Colorado said.

Besides first responders, the organization is typically among the first on scene to large scale natural disasters that often displaces families.

“They can be an overnight experience or they can be months of having a need for volunteers," Ballenger said.

Most recently, the American Red Cross Colorado Chapter had boots on the ground in Teller County for the High Park fire that forced the evacuations for hundreds of homes.

Ballenger explains dozens of volunteers devoted their time to help run the evacuation shelter. Without those volunteers, it would have been a challenge to help all the families in need.

With fire officials predicting particularly high fire danger as we move into summer months, Ballenger said they need as many volunteers as possible.

“We have to be prepared all year for whatever is going to be thrown at us. So, we are in a perpetual state of preparedness and response," she said. "As you can imagine, that really means we do need more people.”

Ballenger said they will accept all people who want to volunteer, no matter their experience level.

Training is offered and even if someone can't devote their full time, there are still options to do virtual volunteerism.

"You could always do the training and that way you are ready at a moment's notice," she said. "You can always decide that it is not right for you right now, but if you get that training ahead of time it is completely under your control.”

If this kind of humanitarian work sounds like something you would be interested, click here to be directed to the American Red Cross Colorado Chapter's website.

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Cindy Centofanti

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