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  A New Kind of Holiday Giving

By Lookout Staff

November 30 -- The Red Cross is offering Santa Monicans a new, perhaps more meaningful, way to spend the holiday season.

The local chapter is teaming with Santa Monica College to present a series of disaster response classes over the next three weekends, teaching a range of skills from operating a shelter to interviewing clients to driving an emergency vehicle.

After passing the required Introduction to Disaster Services course, volunteers can take advanced classes equipping them to take a leading role in case of a local disaster, or one more far afield.

The classes, which are free to the public, are paid for by a national Red Cross grant that encourages training volunteers from diverse populations that may have been underrepresented by the organization in the past.

This is the first time such a broad selection of advanced disaster courses has been offered in Santa Monica, sparing aspiring volunteers the trouble of a long commute across the county to complete their training.

Advance registration is a must since the classes are limited to 20 students, according to Red Cross spokesperson Bill Bauer. They'll be offered at the main SMC campus at 1900 Pico Boulevard.

To register, call the Santa Monica Red Cross during business hours Monday through Friday at 310-394-3773. For specific questions about a class, call Beverly Holm or Robert Chatman at 310-394-3773, Ext 103.

These are the courses:

  • Public Affairs in Disaster -- Public affairs functions in disaster relief operations, working with media and delivering the Red Cross message.
    Saturday, Dec. 3, Sat 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Emergency Assistance to Families -- Learn the skills and tools necessary to conduct an effective client interview and providing emergency assistance to those clients.
    Saturday, Dec. 3, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • SID - Supervision in Disaster -- Learn effective communications and problem solving skills necessary to assess and manage the performance of the work unit. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 10 & 11, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Two day, 16 hour class)
  • Damage Assessment -- Learn the four methods of collecting accurate damage assessment information for disaster relief operations.
    Saturday, Dec. 10, 8:00 a.m. to noon
  • Shelter Simulation -- Apply the skills required to run a successful shelter. Saturday, Dec. 10, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • ERV -- Ready, Set, Roll -- Learn what is required of an emergency response vehicle crew to properly support the feeding function in a relief operation. Must be a currently licensed and insured driver with an excellent driving record. You must bring your DMV record to class.
    Sunday, Dec. 11, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
  • Disaster Instructor Training -- Teaching uniform and quality disaster training consistent with Red Cross policies, regulations and procedures of disaster services. Saturday and Sunday, Dec. 17 & 18, 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (Two day, 16 hour class)
  • Shelter Operations -- Learn what is required in running a successful a shelter. This class should be taken along with Shelter Simulation.
    Saturday, Dec. 17, 8:00 a.m. to noon
  • Shelter Simulation -- Apply the skills required to run a successful shelter. Saturday, Dec. 17, 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.
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