In response to Amory Houghton’s gracious “thank-you” letter of last week, I am a disaster response volunteer for the American Red Cross. Along with my colleague Lori Whittemore, I was privileged to respond to the explosion in Yarmouth. We are grateful for Houghton’s acknowledgment of our service, but we do not want to mislead the public about our contribution.
Although the American Red Cross often provides canteening – water, coffee, food, snacks – at disaster scenes, this event was handled in a spectacular way by the Yarmouth Fire and Rescue team. When we arrived at the fire station, the Fire Department was preparing a hearty breakfast for the affected families and also for the many first responders on hand. The Yarmouth Fire and Rescue team sets the bar pretty high for caring for its own. Deputy Chief Kindelan asked Lori and me to help them provide a compassionate presence and psychological first aid at a very traumatic moment for everyone. We were glad we were able offer our town the kind of help that the Red Cross provides all over the world.
Ellin Ruffner, Yarmouth
LCSW chairwoman, Maine State Consortium
American Red Cross of Maine