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Red Cross plans training seminar

February 19, 2001

Red Cross plans training seminar



By KIMBERLY YAKOWSKI / Staff Writer


American Red Cross staff and volunteers from across the state will visit Washington County this week for a training seminar on disaster relief.

The two-day seminar will be held at the Venice Inn from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday and Saturday, said Cindy Blackstock Kline, director of emergency services for the Washington County chapter.

Blackstock Kline said the seminar is designed to ensure staff and volunteers are adequately trained and to help the agency build a base of volunteers able to handle a large statewide disaster.

They encourage local volunteers to lend a hand wherever needed in Maryland, she said.

The American Red Cross "is not only response, but planning and preparation," said Blackstock Kline.

Each Red Cross chapter has a disaster relief unit that provides for victims' immediate needs such as shelter, food, clothing and medicine.

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Continuing care is available when necessary, she said.

Since December, the Red Cross has helped victims of at least nine fires in Washington County, which has left the local chapter $1,000 in the red, she said.

Blackstock Kline said the organization allocated $20,000 for the disaster fund for the 2001 budget year that ends June 30.

A series of fires in Hagerstown with multiple victims has depleted the fund and the agency needs help, she said.

"The public has always been so good in responding," she said.

In the past, the agency has held fund-raisers to compensate for deficits, she said.

Last year, the disaster fund was in the red $9,000 after helping more than 100 people recover from more than 16 Washington County fires, she said.

The Red Cross is a United Way-funded agency, but United Way funds are not directly designated for local disaster relief, she said. The organization relies on the public for disaster relief funds, she said.

All money donated to the American Red Cross disaster fund in Washington County is used to benefit victims here, she said.

Cash donations may be designated for disaster relief and sent to Washington County Chapter of the American Red Cross, 113 S. Prospect St., Hagerstown, MD 21740.

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