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canadian red cross, montreal, Red Cross

The Emergency Intervention Unit


We pledge allegiance to the flag

Most of the time, I write my posts from home.

Yet today I am not.  Instead, I am in a hotel room/apartment rented out by the Canadian Red Cross in order to provide emergency response for disaster services. Now I know some might bicker and ask why we are in a hotel in the first place.

Can’t we simply stay at home and wait for a call?

Well this is a new pilot project, inspired from what I heard from the work of the American Red Cross in New York. All equipment (Red Cross van, vast amounts of forms, communication, computers, disaster supplies, etc) is based in the same place and hence, members can act quickly in order to respond more efficiently. It is also makes sense, since we also send people affected by disasters to the same hotel for overnight stays in other rooms. We work in shifts and are on watch (de garde in French) until 2400, when we retire for the night.

There are probably other reasons for the creation of such a project, yet I am pretty low in the food chain, and would not know…

We also have office space at our disposal if we need to work on issues such as renewing agreements with suppliers, or conducting inventories. It also allows Red Cross members to participate more efficiently in the whole process, and not always being dependent on their own personal vehicle.

The Unité d’Intervention d’Urgence (Emergency Intervention Unit), as it is known, is therefore based in a little headquarters of sorts. We even have a kitchenette and cable TV, which allowed me to watch the Habs destroy the Red Wings 7-2. Yes. You did hear right. We won!

Tonight has been awesome, even though it was quite uneventful. Why you ask?

  1. I was on call in case people needed help. Helping people out is always fun and gives you that warm, fuzzy feeling.
  2. As I said, the Montreal Canadiens won the game. When my team wins, I get that warm, fuzzy feeling.
  3. I ate Chinese food for supper. Chinese food also provides me with that warm, fuzzy feeling.

Moreover, I always assume it is a positive when people don’t need our help, since it means nobody is stuck in a flood or under a burning roof…However staying in made me daydream of sorts and I realized that my biggest fear was to be sitting blissfully around, and suddenly snapped out of my reverie by a call coming in ordering me to deploy to an address which will turn out to be mine. ..

Oh well. It is almost time to “bug out”, as we would say in the armed forces. We have to fill in a few forms and then we are free to go.

Can’t forget to lock the door, or else I’m sure Red Cross supplies will start popping up all over Montreal…

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