By Wayne Allen
October 6, 2013
PDT Staff Writer
When it came to choosing to respond to a natural disaster that occurred near Denver, Colo. recently, there was no hesitation in Tom and Dylan Frazier’s minds to go and help those in need. Tom and Dylan Frazier have been deployed to the area out of the Ohio River Valley Chapter/ Cincinnati Division of the American Red Cross.
Tom Frazier said there were three people from the Cincinnati Division of the American Red Cross sent to help respond to those in need after severe flooding crippled much of Colorado.
“Two (Tom and Dylan) of us are working in bulk distribution. We make sure all of the trucks get loaded with the products that they need for the clients,” Tom Frazier said.
When asked what they were responding to, Tom Frazier said, “We’re responding to flood victims. There were major floods out here and we’re going up in the Bolder, (Colorado) area to help,” Tom Frazier said.
He said Red Cross volunteers and others have been carrying backpacks of supplies into the town of Lamar, Colo. full of supplies, to aid those in need.
“It’s (Lamar) not accessible by a vehicle. So, we went and got $450 worth of backpacks, loaded them and hauled them into the city,” Tom Frazier said.
Tom and Dylan have been out there since Sept. 17.
“Normally when you get deployed it’s for 21 or 42 days. Dylan and I have come in under an open deployment, meaning they can keep myself and him here as long as they need us,” Tom Frazier said.
Tom Frazier said when they were first deployed they were working in client casework. In this role they were doing initial assessments of client needs.
“They had so many case workers they could not decide where to send everyone. Dylan and I were sitting at a table and a gentleman came by and seen that we are forklift certified. It turns out the guy worked in bulk distribution and took us to work with them,” Tom Frazier said.
When asked what their inspiration was to travel that far away from home and help, Tom Frazier said, “That is what the Red Cross does, we go help people in disasters. This is my 28th national disaster (that he has responded to), this is Dylan’s eighth national disaster. When you get out into these areas and the clients have it really, really bad, if we can sit there and listen to them and get them the help they need, it makes it all worth it.”
Tom Frazier said since he and Dylan have worked so many national disasters they can be and have been personally requested to respond certain disasters, like the one they are responding to currently.
Tom Frazier said one of the most fulfilling aspects of doing what they are doing is when the clients get to vent and tell them about their troubles.
“You know you are doing something right when you sit down with a family and they are thanking you afterwards, that’s overtime pay,” Tom Frazier said.
Tom Frazier said the Red Cross is constantly in need of volunteers locally and nationally.
“We need volunteers in our area to help, respond to fires, flood and other natural disasters,” Tom Frazier said.
For more information about the Ohio River Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross call 740-354-3293 or visit www.redcross.org/oh/portsmouth.
Wayne Allen may be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 228, or firstname.lastname@example.org. For breaking news, follow Wayne on Twitter @WayneallenPDT.