Caring For Those Who Serve: Red Cross Opens First Station On Camp Lemonnier
The American Red Cross opened the doors to its first station in Africa, September 28, as part of an ongoing effort to provide quality service to military members and civilian employees at Camp Lemonnier, Djibouti.
The station, dedicated solely to Camp Lemonnier personnel, will enable the Red Cross to bring previously unavailable capabilities to the military installation and its personnel.
"The Red Cross will provide training on health and safety, disaster preparedness and readiness for those stationed on the Horn of Africa, as well as closely coordinate provision of this type of training for military personnel throughout the continent," said Sherri Brown, Red Cross senior vice president - Service to the Armed Forces. "This location will also be the central point of coordination for all emergency communication services for military personnel living on the continent. Finally, the Red Cross will be able to provide enhanced morale services and activities in partnership with Morale Welfare and Recreation."
Additionally, the Red Cross hopes its presence will better coordinate and provide health and safety training, according to Brown. The training will include first aid and CPR, communications regarding family emergencies and will also work with MWR to coordinate and conduct morale activities for military and family members, Department of Defense civilians and contractors.
"If there is an emergency situation involving an immediate family member, someone can come into my office and have a message initiated to whomever they need to contact," said Jason Marshall, Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces station manager. "The message is formatted for verification before being sent back to the command. From there, a decision is made on how best to support the requester and their family."
Marshall said the support from the camp and its leadership has been overwhelmingly positive.
"The American Red Cross has historically been wherever there has been a need," said U.S. Navy Captain Scott Hurst, Camp Lemonnier commander. "Today they continue that fine tradition with the establishment of our Service to the Armed Forces Office for the men and women stationed at Camp Lemonnier."
Marshall said he is excited the Red Cross will be able to bring its services halfway across the world to help the U.S. military.
"With the base growing, U.S. Africa Command wanted someone here to handle the emergency contact process, as well as any training," said Marshall. "I'm very excited about the opportunity. It's a great way to help our men and women in uniform during their time of need."
For more information, or to initiate an emergency contact, call the 24-hour Red Cross line at (877) 272-7337.