ST. LOUIS — Winter weather has increased the number of home fires. The American Red Cross of Missouri and Arkansas is recruiting new volunteers to help respond to these local emergencies by supporting people in their time of greatest need.

Nationally, the Red Cross has already responded to more than 1,900 home fires since 2022 began, providing assistance to more than 6,500 people. In the Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas Region, trained Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers have responded to more than 2,100 home fires so far this fiscal year (July 1, 2021 to Feb. 15, 2022), and have helped nearly 7,000 people impacted by a fire in their home.

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Just since January 1st, in the Missouri, Illinois, and Arkansas Region, there have been more than 600 fires and more than 1,900 people assisted by Red Cross.


When a home fire occurs, Red Cross Disaster Action Team (DAT) volunteers are needed to respond to the fire to ensure the family members receive immediate assistance including finances for a place to stay, food and clothing. Services provided are free and available to anyone impacted by a home fire.

Disaster Action Team volunteers offer support during a very difficult time. As a DAT volunteer, you will provide emotional support, access to financial assistance and information to help families begin to recover. DAT team members also offer compassion and care. Training is provided to volunteers and new volunteers are teamed up with experienced responders.

“Our Red Cross volunteers support their community and neighbors in need each and every day by responding to local emergencies,” said Beth Elders, Executive Director for the American Red Cross Greater St. Louis chapter. “We need more volunteer help so that no one faces this heartbreaking situation alone.”

“Volunteers who serve in these roles find the work extremely rewarding because they are able to be there in someone’s darkest hour and offer help and hope following devastating situations,” Elders added.

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Remote opportunities are available for those interested in volunteering as a Disaster Action Team Duty Officer. These individuals are the first point of contact for fire departments and other emergency response agencies who request Red Cross assistance. Duty officers contact volunteers who are on call to respond to a home fire. They also provide guidance to the Disaster Action Team volunteers who are responding to the fires. Duty Officers work from the comfort of their home.


The Red Cross also needs volunteers to support blood collections as the country faces an ongoing critical need for blood products and platelets. Blood donor ambassadors play an important role by greeting, registering, answering questions and providing information to blood donors throughout the donation process. Blood transportation specialists provide a critical link between blood donors and blood recipients by delivering blood to hospitals in our communities.

Find out more about volunteering with American Red Cross at

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides comfort to victims of disasters; supplies about 40% of the nation's blood; teaches skills that save lives; distributes international humanitarian aid; and supports veterans, military members and their families. The Red Cross is a nonprofit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to deliver its mission. For more information, please visit or, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

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