Central Mass. Red Cross Volunteers Prep to Go to Okla. - NECN

Central Mass. Red Cross Volunteers Prep to Go to Okla.



    Central Mass. Red Cross volunteers prep to go to Okla.

    Health service workers expect to help with injuries, mental health (Published Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014)

    (NECN: Kristen Carosa) - "The people you talk to are so upbeat and I think it's because they are alive."

    Cathy Stevens is no stranger to disasters. She's a nurse working for the Red Cross of Central Massachusetts and is currently waiting to go to Oklahoma to help.

    "You feel so frustrated, you go out there, you know you can do something to help these people," she says.

    Cathy says health service workers set up inside shelters and help people with their injuries.

    "We also speak to people who do not appear to be injured because sometimes they are but they are not saying anything because they are in shock," she says.

    Cathy says once people's injuries are taken care of, she says nurses offer other services that the Red Cross can help with.

    "We look to see if mental health services are needed and we have our mental health team that will go out into the area," Cathy says.

    While health service personal wait for a call to deploy to Oklahoma, Trudy Epstein is staying put in central Massachusetts.

    She's working as a "safe and well" leader focusing on finding lost loved ones.

    "It's amazing what happens, people just come together," Trudy says.

    Trudy is now making calls to shelters in Oklahoma, trying to connect family members from around Massachusetts to those who may have been affected by the tornado.

    "What we do is so appreciated, even just on a regular basis, local fires, people say to us 'I don't know what I would have done if you weren't here,'" she says.

    Trudy says the Red Cross cannot continue to do what they do without donations. She says they can be easily made at RedCross.org.

    "It's the right thing to do - I mean everyone needs help at some point," she says.