The St. Thomas/St. John Chapter of the American Red Cross will conduct an eight-week series of courses in disaster assistance training on Saturdays beginning Aug. 14.
The initial two introductory presentations will be given separately in English and in Spanish. Subsequent sessions will be in English only. The final three offerings are two-day courses with attendance required on both Saturday and Sunday.
Pat Odoms, the chapter's disaster services public affairs officer, said the purpose of the courses is to provide training for current and future Red Cross volunteers.
"It's for people who have previously been volunteers and would like to update their training, and for those who have not volunteered before," she said.
Classes will meet at the Red Cross offices on the second floor of Nisky Center. Topics will be addressed on the following schedule:
Aug. 14 introduction to disaster services (English language), 9 a.m. to noon; introduction to disaster services (Spanish language), 1 to 4 p.m.
Aug. 21 mass care overview (English), 9 a.m. to noon; mass care overview (Spanish), 1 to 4 p.m.
Aug. 28 damage assessment, 9 a.m. to noon; shelter operations, 1 to 4 p.m.
Sept. 4 emergency assistance to families, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Sept. 11 and 12 family services supervision, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Sept. 18 and 19 advanced mass care, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Sept. 25 and 26 service center management, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days
Everyone is expected to attend the two introductory presentations, Odoms said, and after that "they can pick what area they want to be involved in. Some people are coming to all of the classes and then deciding what they want to do as a volunteer."
An earlier round of training ended in July, she said, and "some of the courses being offered now are continuing where the earlier ones left off."
Red Cross volunteer training is open to anyone from junior high school age, Odoms said. There is no fee, but pre-registration is requested of those wishing to take the course.
To register or learn more, call 774-0375.