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NEWS | Jan. 10, 2012

Red Cross trains NNPTC students for disaster response

By Nancy Olson American Red Cross Charleston Region

How do you prepare for the worst?

The American Red Cross does it every day. As the nation's largest, independent, nonprofit humanitarian organization, the Red Cross helps prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.

Emergency response requires trained volunteers and in a new, joint endeavor, the American Red Cross Charleston Region and the U.S. Navy's Naval Nuclear Power Training Command at Joint Base Charleston Weapons Station have joined forces to supply a steady stream of Reserve Disaster Trained volunteers.

"This is an amazing partnership between the American Red Cross Charleston S.C. Region and NNPTC," said Lisa Miller-Wills, ARC director of volunteer and youth services. "Not only does it provide us with trained extra hands during a major disaster while the Sailors are stationed here, but it also benefits the communities where these Sailors will be assigned in the future, both in the United States and at locations around the world."

So far, 200 students have been trained. The first training session of 100 NNPTC students was held at NNPTC Aug. 4 and the second training for an additional 100 students was held Dec. 6.

"We are trying to instill a sense of pride in community," said Senior Chief Petty Officer Juli Levine, NNPTC Hold Division Class director. "It's never too early in a Sailor's career to give back. We offer our students this opportunity to volunteer while they are between classes so they may learn early in their career that the Navy emphasizes community involvement, and this is a skill they can take with them anywhere in the world."

The NNPTC students were given an overview of disaster services and received a Red Cross badge that can be used in the U.S. or if they are deployed. The long-range goal is to provide training to NNPTC students quarterly to ensure there is always a large group of American Red Cross Reserve Volunteers available to assist the citizens of the Lowcountry.