Mad Woman with an ERV

I, finally, heard from the Red Cross after the initial meeting where we all were warned we’d be called within a few weeks. That was, of course, months ago, but time is relative.

I received a letter telling me I had to submit for a national background check, as well as sign up for various classes. These are required if I want to continue being part of Disaster Services, and thus eligible to help at national emergencies. With the letter came a page listing the different volunteer classifications and the classes needed for each.

I’m interested in being part of a Disaster Action Team, the Communication and Equipment team, and Shelter Worker. As such I need to take several classes over the next four months: classes such as an all day simulation for shelter management, liason training, and operating the communication equipment.

I also get training in how to drive in adverse situations; in particular how to drive the vehicles that the Red Cross provides their volunteers. Yes, driving through mud and water on rough or non-existent roads in an vehicle very similar to a Humvee. This is in addition to training in how to drive the Red Cross ERV or Emergency Response Vehicle.

I’m conflicted. There will be a disaster in the future and I will be sent to help. I’ll be thinking to myself, as I tool along, driving the ERV, “Oh, this is such a tragedy”. But my deep, inner child will be going “Wheeeeeeee!”

I am a b-a-a-a-d woman.

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4 Responses to Mad Woman with an ERV

  1. Rob says:


    Disasters will happen, whether you are there to help or not. Why shouldn’t you enjoy helping out? It’s making use of your skills. It’s showing that your life has value. You are proving that you are a decent person who values others. You’ll inspire others, so that when the disaster hits your area, others will help you. You get to do stuff no one else can!

    You get to have fun!

    Most of all, you are far better suited to do this kind of work because you will have fun. You will be able to deal with the things you see better because you will be having a blast. You will be able to do your job longer and better and help more people because having fun will shield your heart from the worst of it.

    Don’t get me wrong. You may well have gut-wrenching sobs that feel as if they empty your soul. Even there, you will get to experience, to live, to feel what most never do. Tears are healing. After the tears have stopped, you will get up and resume helping those who need you. You may even do better at helping for having cried.

    Have fun. Kick ass. Help save the world. Be magnificent as you do and glow with that magnificence! Know that the world is far better for you having lived.

    You do know what they call people who dress up in funny costumes with insignias, ride around in tricked-out vehicles and rescue people, don’t you?

    Welcome to the ranks of the superheroes. You’ll do great.

  2. Shelley says:

    Rob, thank you. It’s been a bit frustrating with the Red Cross. I’m willing, I’m able, but they seem to have some management issues in St. Louis. I hope I can do good. And yes, I hope I even have fun now and again.

  3. Yes you are and it is a GOOD thing

  4. Shelley says:

    Well, you all haven’t see me drive, Alan. Good is relative ;-)