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This month there is an exciting opportunity for Red Cross employees, volunteers and partners in the disaster response field! On October 25-29, 2013, the Pennsylvania Disaster Training Institute will offer training courses which teach life-changing leadership skills. The trainings are FREE and will also emphasize management skills and practices.

On Friday, October 25,2013, I look forward to taking the Assisting Animals on a Residential Disaster scene, the Red Paw Pilot Program. Red Paw is an organization that I have been wanting to get involved with since learning about them a few months ago.

“The Red Paw Emergency Relief Team is an emergency services, nonprofit organization that works in conjunction with the American Red Cross, SEPA Chapter and other public and private disaster relief, social service, and animal welfare organizations to provide emergency transport, shelter, and veterinary care to animals involved in residential fires and other disasters”.- Red Paw

The Red Paw Pilot Program is a three-part workshop from 9:00a.m.-3:00p.m. Part One of the workshop will emphasize pet preparedness as a part of the Preparedness component of the Red Cross Disaster Cycle. Part Two is where participants will learn the steps to take on a disaster scene response, including the assessment of animals and how to provide assistance during and after the response. Part two will also will feature a hands-on presentation with live animals! Part Three will focus on the development of the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. Additionally, participants will learn how to start an organization that provides assistance to pets during a disaster, and includes potential obstacles and information on how to move forward if your local Red Cross chapter is not in a position to help support a fully formed organization.

There are many more amazing courses to take part in. Hurry and sign up before all courses are full!

The Disaster Training Institute will take place at American Red Cross Southeastern Pennsylvania Chapter and the Red Cross House

To Check out the Disaster Institute Training Courses please click here

To Register for Courses at the Disaster Institute please click here

Walk Run Photo 2

On your mark, get set, GO!! . . .over to the Philadelphia Zoo on Saturday Morning October 5th for the annual Red Cross Walk/Run! The American Red Cross of Southeastern Pennsylvania hosts this crazy fun event to honor the thousands of heroes who help others in an emergency.

Officially referred to as the Red Cross Walk and Run to Save Lives, the walk/run is a 5K event that will take participants around and through the fantastic Philadelphia Zoo. Along the route, there will be water stations and motivational cheering sections. There will even be benches for those who need to rest every now and then.

You can join the event as an individual, or even better, as a team. All you need is two or more classmates, co-workers, family members or friends to receive a kit filled with ideas about how to prepare for the event. Some teams have corporate sponsorship and raise enormous amounts of money. Mere mortals might ask friends to match their donation. Prizes will be awarded for the top three individual fundraisers, as well as the top fundraising team and the top fundraising school.

 Don’t be intimidated by the word run. Participants can move through the course at whatever speed works best. If that means running, shuffling, toddling or veering off course because of a bad case of hippo amazement, we welcome the effort.

That said, the top male and female finishers will win prize money with $250 dollars going to first place, $150 to second place, and $75 to third. Also, awards will be given to the top male and female finishers in the following age groups: 19 and under, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49, 50-59 and 60 and older.

Here’s why you should come: Have you ever waved to a giraffe in the midst of your everyday exercise routine? Have you ever passed a zebra? Have you ever stopped to admire a beautiful bird or felt swifter than a leopard? Ever felt superior to a sloth? There are so many fascinating things to see and do at the zoo; it would be hard to pay attention to walk/run itself.

This is a perfect outing for young families. Get out of the house and enjoy this amazing autumn weather; come and push a stroller or two around the zoo for the Red Cross. Participants are invited to stay and enjoy the zoo for as long as they wish after the race.

In addition to the animals, large and furry Fred Cross and Ernie the ERV will be on hand to play with little ones. No longer parenting little ones? The race is a great opportunity to reconnect with a teenage. You’ll both be facing forward, so conversation should be easy. Sadly, pets are not allowed at the zoo… but there will be plenty of animals there to keep you company along the route.

The Walk and Run helps to raise funds for Red Cross House and local families left homeless by a fire, flood, or other disaster. It supports programs and services to help our community prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. People are invited to “participate in honor of the hero who saved your life, a family member’s, or a friend’s – to honor the thousands of heroes who, trained by the Red Cross, are ready to help save your life.” The Red Cross would like to extend its gratitude to participants who make it possible to answer the call for help, one family at a time, whenever and wherever disaster strikes.

Blog posted by Communications Volunteer Sarah Peterson.

Three woofs and a meow for the Red Paw Emergency Response Team!

 The goal of the Red Cross is to alleviate suffering. Our volunteers commit to helping all survivors of fire or natural disaster: human and animal.

Although we have more than a century of experience assisting humans, our commitment to help our beloved (and furry) companions is the work of an extraordinary Red Cross volunteer, Jennifer Leary. Jen is a Philadelphia fire fighter and long time emergency response volunteer with the Red Cross in our region.

After years of helping disaster victims, she became frustrated that there was not a system for helping their pets as well. Too often, she witnessed an injured animal left to suffer and sometimes die from lack of appropriate treatment, care and intervention.

In response, she started the Red Paw Emergency Relief Team. When a fire or other disaster occurs, first responders inform Red Paw of any pets on the scene. Red Paw arrives prepared to treat injuries, provide transportation to veterinary hospitals or simply provide shelter for pets whose owners are unable to do so after a fire or natural disaster.

This work is so important! Not only is it deeply humane, it recognizes the special bond between humans and their pets. Red Paw understands that a pet may have a significant role to play in its owner’s healthy recovery from a traumatic event. In addition, our domestic animals are totally dependent on human care for their survival. We should not abandon them in the face of disaster.

That’s why it’s fantastic that Red Paw now has 501c3 status as a non-profit and can raise money to support its work. Currently, Jen Leary’s home acts as a temporary shelter for canine and feline victims of disaster. Red Paw is trying to raise money to create a facility that will serve as a temporary shelter for our pets. They also need a space to rest and recuperate until they can rejoin their owners or be adopted by a new family.

Take note, all ye animal lovers! It’s time to raise funds! On June 22, from 8-11, Red Paw is holding a party at Finnegan’s Wake. Tickets will be $40 in advance and $45 at the door. Come celebrate Red Paw’s success and help it grow!

For more information on Red Paw or the beautiful animals pictured here follow this link.