The American Red Cross Raton Disaster Action
team has been very active this summer training and re-certifying its volunteer
force. Since its inception in March of 2005, the Raton DAT crew grew to 38
volunteers, but currently has 22 members led by Colfax County Captain, Mona
Sandoval. Over the past two-and-a-half years, the team has responded to more
than 25 disasters in the county. The majority of its volunteers reside in Raton;
however, the team also has one volunteer in Cimarron and two in Springer.
Seated; Rochelle Encinisa, Dennis Downing, Mona Sandoval
Standing; Oteka Hawkins, Lita Sandoval, Sue Downing, Chris Wildermuth, Paula
Devlin, and Bob Clevenger
| Their response services include winter
shelters, home fires, and meal assistance to emergency agencies during the fire
season. Team members are trained in various courses offered by the American Red
Cross such as introduction to disasters, first aid & CPR, shelter operations,
mass care, and family services, among others. The volunteers are instructed to
help in times of need and provide professional, compassionate care to
individuals and families in disaster situations.
The Colfax County Disaster Action Team receives
support and guidance from the Mid-Rio Grande Chapter of the Red Cross in
Albuquerque, which also directs 22 other county operations in New Mexico.
Additional support comes from the local businesses, numerous civic organizations
To join the response team, volunteers
undergo a background check and an application process. Many volunteers commit
their time and skills in various ways during a disaster with food preparation,
crisis management, organizational skills, and trained medical care. The
diversity of the volunteers is what makes the team strong. Raton DAT meets
monthly, usually the third Tuesday of each month. During meetings they review
any disasters which occurred, and discuss any information which may have been
provided by local emergency personnel.
The team has worked diligently in their
training and is always growing and expanding in a desire to provide for the
needs of their neighbors and community. Current officers for 2007-08 year are:
Mona Sandoval, President, Dennis Downing, Vice President, Rochelle Encinias and
Chris Wildermuth, Secretaries, David Butt, Transportation, with Tina Bird and
Janet Madison serving as nursing advisors. Any individual interested in becoming
a member of the Raton Disaster Action team should contact Mona Sandoval at (575)
445-7135 or (575) 643-6958.