RENO, NV - As thousands evacuated their homes in Colorado Springs, CO, the local chapter of the American Red Cross sent a team of volunteers to help. While volunteers being sent to disasters is nothing new for the American Red Cross, the team effort is a pilot program.
Elizabeth Morse, a shelter team lead, said the program was judged a "success." The program aims to deploy a full team, who know each other, and are trained to operate a shelter.
Nine people from the local chapter of the American Red Cross were sent to Colorado, including Morse.
"Their streets were close to being in flames when they left so they were very anxious what they were going to find, others that didn't know and didn't know for days," she said.
Volunteer Rebecca Tackett, who also went to Colorado, said she learned lessons to help after local fires.
"You're dealing with people from all different lifestyles and leadership styles so being able to learn and adjust to all of that is probably the key to being a volunteer."
The team program may be expanded, Morse said.
The Waldo Canyon Fire destroyed nearly three-hundred fifty homes. It is now fully contained.