Volunteers key to safety and health of citizens

(Editor’s Note: With April 10-16 being National Volunteer Week, this is part four of a four-part series about the importance of volunteers in certain organizations throughout the community.)Volunteers are not only critical to helping organizations runs smoothly. They are also key to helping them keep citizens safe and healthy.Cindy Nickell at American Red Cross of Borger said she can use volunteers. She continued to say the Hutchinson County area has well over 100 volunteers who respond to fires, help canteen the firefighters, and also train the public in CPR and first aid. Some of the volunteers for Red Cross are Percilla Newberry, Linda Washer, Cindy Graves, Mary Jane Nies, Pete Loftis Lendy Tate, Amanda Gurarde, Bill Cope, Woran and Rita Kretzneier, and Shane Albright. If you or anyone you know wants to be a volunteer for the Red Cross and is willing to go through a background check you can visit www.americanredcross.com or call Cindy Nickell at 273-6012. Danny Richards from the Emergency Operation Center stated that the volunteer’s “are absolutely essential to the community and we heavily depend on them.” Some things the EOC volunteers take on are storm spotting, traffic assistance, for the fire department and police department, crowd management for public events, search and rescue for lost people, and help with evacuations. The EOC is activated when there are large disasters occur, such as blizzards, wildfires, and massive thunderstorms. For Hutchinson County, there are 18 members in the EOC that have went through the appropriate training, background checks, and screenings that are held once a year. Richards said “I’m very proud, because they donate a lot of their time and put a lot of heart in to volunteering. That is what the community needs. We are very fortunate to have a group of volunteers to keep everyone safe.” Pam Trout, the Volunteer Coordinator of Golden Plains Community Hospital, stated that “Our volunteers are a unique asset to our team and range from ages 40-91. In the year 2010, our volunteers donated 7,817 hours of service with an average length of stay at 6.45 years.” She continued to say that the volunteers mainly work at the Information Desk or Gift Shop; however, they also transport patients and lab specimens. Trout also stated that “Our volunteers are members of an Auxiliary and make numerous contributions from the funds raised in our Gift Shop. Our volunteers come to work with a smile and are always willing to help those that enter our doors. We are very honored to have such a dedicated group of volunteers.” Volunteering at the GPCH are Lou Boulter, James Bruce, Shirley Bruce, Louise Burns, Jean Chisum, Donnell Drake, Jerry Drake, Becky England, Vernon Ensey, Lydia Fowlkes, Naomi Fox, Sherry Hanrahan, Judy Mooney, Jana Pronger, Patricia Searcy, Stephen Searcy, Helen Sibley, Gay Smith, Patrick Viles, W. C. “Gov” White and Gloria Williams. “Next time you visit Golden Plains Community Hospital, say “thank-you” to a volunteer - it would be very difficult to operate without them! Thanks volunteers for all you do, we love you!” Trout said anyone interested in volunteering at Golden Plains can contact Pam Trout at 467-5610 or pick up an application at the Information Desk.