The American Red Cross (ARC) this week thanked ARRL and its “Force of 50” hurricane recovery volunteers who deployed to Puerto Rico earlier this month, and it suggested a new level of partnership now exists between the two organizations. ARC Senior Vice President, Disaster Cycle Services Harvey Johnson this week wrote ARRL President Rick Roderick, K5UR, and ARRL CEO Tom Gallagher, NY2RF, to express his organization’s gratitude for “all your amazing volunteers for the unwavering commitment demonstrated during the response to this unprecedented disaster in Puerto Rico.” Johnson said the team’s actions “made a significant difference” in the lives of those affected.
“This mission marked an exciting new path for our two organizations with it being the first time we deployed ARRL volunteers to a Red Cross relief operation,” Johnson wrote. “I continue to hear incredible stories about how the ARRL volunteers supported individuals, communities, and partner organizations during their time in Puerto Rico.” The ARRL and the American Red Cross have a long-standing memorandum of understanding (MOU) to cooperate in emergencies and disasters.
“It was a complex cooperation in an austere environment, and the mission certainly had its challenges,” Johnson continued. “While we have much to learn from this new experience and areas to improve upon, we remain committed to working with you, ARRL, and your cadre of talented volunteers.”
Johnson singled out for special praise ARRL Emergency Response Manager Mike Corey, KI1U, “for his leadership in planning and managing the mission.”
“Mike was fast acting and thoughtful, constantly working to make the mission effective through transparency and collaboration,” Johnson said. “We simply could not have achieved the outcomes without him.”
Johnson said the ARC looks forward to working together with ARRL to “serve those impacted by disasters.”
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