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Airmen, Red Cross Volunteers Head to California Fire Lines

Posted October 24, 2007

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— More than 60 Red Cross volunteers and 15 airmen from Pope Air Force Base were headed to California this week to help fight the wildfires that forced 500,000 people to flee their homes.

Eight volunteers from the Triangle Area Chapter of the Red Cross are among the 64 Red Cross workers from North Carolina who plan to leave for California by Friday, officials said. The workers will assist in 11 shelters set up across southern California for people who had to evacuate and will help distribute water and food to firefighters battling the fires.

Members of Pope AFB's 43rd Aeromedical Evacuation Squadron were scheduled to leave the base Wednesday evening.

The team, which will be stationed at March Air Reserve Base, in Riverside County, Calif., consists of flight nurses, aeromedical and communications technicians, as well as a medical support commander. They will set up in preparation for any injuries or evacuations that might occur because of the fires.

Many members of the squadron also deployed to Brownsville, Texas, in support of Hurricane Dean preparations, to New Orleans in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and to the Middle East in support of Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.

Officials said it's unclear how long any of those deployed would remain in California.

The North Carolina Air National Guard also deployed personnel and three C-130 cargo planes on Tuesday to help battle the fires.


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  • syracuseinwonderland Oct 24, 2007


    Organizers for the (Jena6) march instructed those attending to not purchase anything from local merchants, specifically in the town of Jena.

    Newspapers have reported that approximately 25,000 bottles of water were given out by the Red Cross.

    The Red Cross used existing disaster relief funds to pay for these services. Some individuals who financially support the Red Cross out of a desire to provide aid to disaster victims have expressed displeasure at seeing their beneficence used to underwrite the ordinary costs of a rally.

  • Raptor06 Oct 24, 2007

    PikeQueeen - How in the world were you able to combine the stories of Jena and California? Do you hate that badly or are just misinformed? These are/were two very different and important stories affecting our Nation. Just like you can't ignore the all-consuming fires in California, you can't ignore the "fires" burning in Jena and the like. Plus, why would the Red Cross have a big showing in Jena? I would expect terrorist sympathizer who wants to destroy our Nation to make that kind of comparison and use it for propaganda purposes. R U 1?

  • tgw Oct 24, 2007

    God bless them in their travel and their mission. Yes, this is the mission of the American Red Cross, and they do their mission well.

  • Adelinthe Oct 24, 2007

    Praying for them all, and for their loved ones.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • PikeQueen Oct 24, 2007

    Now,this is what the RED CROSS should be doing,instead of following the crowd who went to Jena.They caught lots of flack for even being involved.