Red Cross to base call center on Yokota
YOKOTA AIR BASE, Japan — With a close partnership with the U.S. military, the American Red Cross is able to get an emergency contact message to a servicemember stationed virtually anywhere in the world.
That process will soon become faster for servicemembers stationed at Pacific bases.
Starting on May 27, the Red Cross office at Yokota Air Base will be providing after-hours emergency communication services for all U.S. military bases in mainland Japan, Okinawa and South Korea, said Marie Basiliere, Red Cross’ senior station manager for Yokota. Emergencies might include serious illness, death of a loved one or the birth of a child, according to the Red Cross Web site.
In the past, Red Cross offices at Pacific installations had to handle their own after-hours emergency messages, with some volunteers handling calls at home, she said.
With the new consolidation plan, a team of case workers will be on hand 24 hours a day to handle the emergency messages. Basiliere said Tuesday that because the group of full- and part-time case workers will be handling cases from throughout the Pacific, they will become very experienced, very quickly.
“Hopefully, folks will notice a much faster service,” said Basiliere, adding that the consolidation will save money for the Red Cross, which depends on donations in order to operate.
Yokota was chosen as the center’s location because the base is the Red Cross regional headquarters for U.S. Forces Japan, she said.
Basiliere said there are two similar Red Cross centers in the States and one in Stuttgart, Germany. The Pacific Red Cross offices are the last to consolidate, she said.