KADENA AIR BASE, Okinawa — The Kadena Red Cross is looking for volunteers for its new disaster action team, officials said. The DAT, whose members are trained to assist people during emergencies and in the aftermath of major disasters, was formed in November, said Jenny Vincent, the Kadena Red Cross disaster chairwoman.

Whether a kitchen fire breaks out on Kadena or a typhoon wreaks havoc on military families, DAT personnel help victims get back on their feet, said Sandy Chambers, the Kadena Red Cross station manager.

Team volunteers also teach safety and disaster preparedness in base schools and at other venues, Vincent said.

Although having volunteers with specialized skills such as medical or rescue training is a plus, Red Cross officials said anyone willing to help others is welcome.

"Everyone is capable of giving hope to those in need," and that is the skill the team most needs, Vincent said.

She said the current cadre of 12 volunteers includes a stay-at-home mother, a former nurse, airmen and a Marine.

Ideally, the team will be made up of 20 or more volunteers so no individual is overburdened in responding to emergencies, Vincent said.

The Kadena station is looking to attract volunteers during a series of disaster classes it’s offering in February, Vincent said.

The first class, Fulfilling Our Mission, is scheduled at the Kadena Red Cross office from 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 3. It’s an overview of how the Red Cross operates and is a prerequisite to attend the other four classes and volunteer for the team, officials said.

The additional classes, which cover mass care, shelter operations, client case work and mass casualties, are informative but are not mandatory to volunteer for the team, Vincent said, adding that people don’t have to volunteer for DAT to attend the classes.

For more information on DAT and to sign up for the classes, call DSN 634-1979.

Red Cross disaster class schedule

Fulfilling Our Mission: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 3. This is a prerequisite for the DAT and to attend the other classes.Mass Care Overview: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 4.Shelter Operations: 5 to 9 p.m. Feb. 5Client Case Work: 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 7Mass Casualty Overview: Noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 8All classes will be held at the Kadena Red Cross office.

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