|Updated: 7/27/2012 1:25 am
||Published: 7/26/2012 9:11 pm
The Tulsa Red Cross Disaster Action team has helped out at 100 fires in the first 25 days of July.
American Red Cross Volunteers were right behind emergency responders who battled grass fires and apartment fires this month.
"You are right there with the firemen, you are right there with them in the heat," said Red Cross Disaster Action Team Leader, John Smith. Smith and other volunteers are on hand at the scene of emergencies and provide help to people when they have lost their belongings or home. "Those first 48 hours we are there to help and get them on their feet," said Smith. "IF they don't have a place to stay were get them a hotel room, if they need clothes we help them with that." Smith said the triple digit heat is starting to take its toll.
"It's running our volunteers pretty ragged right now." Smith said the heat intensifies everyones job, from the first responders to the volunteers.
Tulsa Fired Department Captain, Stan May, said because of the heat the fire department has frequently called the Tulsa American Red Cross to come assist on the scene of a fire. "They've been making alot of runs with us the last few months," said May.
May said the suit the firefighters wear to protect them during a fire weighs about fifteen pounds. The suit is designed to keep the heat out, but it also insulates the heat around the firefighters which can spell trouble on triple digit days. "They can over heat in a matter of minutes," said May.
The American Red Cross volunteers said canteen services to provide water and cooling stations for the first responders in imperative in the heat.
Donita Quesnel with the American Red Cross said in one week alone, volunteers handed out 463 drinks, 675 snacks and 140 meals to emergency crews. Quesnel said it has also been an expensive month helping out people who lost their homes in fires. "This week we have provided a little more than $10,000 dollars in assistance for shelter food and clothing," Quesnel said. Since Sunday, The Red Cross has helped out at 16 house fires.
Volunteers at the Red Cross reiterated that they are equipped and will always be willing to help but the resources add up.
"All of the thing we got to give out come from donation and if we didn't have that, we couldn't do these things," Smith said.