The American Red Cross prevents and alleviates human suffering in the face of emergencies by mobilizing the power of volunteers and the generosity of donors.
Story and photo by Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross
Evans, Colorado, September 27, 2013. Doctor David Mann, an American Red Cross health-services volunteer, spent the day in constant drizzly rain going door-to-door checking on the medical needs of persons in the Riverside Park Community of Evans, Colorado. The community sits adjacent to the South Platte River and suffered severe damage during the recent Colorado floods.
Mann, a retired pediatric orthopedic surgeon from Madison, Wisconsin, is a member of a Red Cross health service team composed of health professionals such as physicians, nurses, nurse practitioners, emergency medical technicians, and other health professionals. Health-services volunteers often deploy on short notice to provide assistance to persons affected by fires, floods, hurricanes and other disasters.
In Colorado, the health-services team is assisting people who were impacted by the recent floods. They can help with the replacement of prescription medications, eyeglasses, as well as some durable medical equipment and supplies that have been lost in the disaster and have been verified as prescribed to the disaster client. They also provide educational literature, administer first aid when needed to both clients and Red Cross workers, and are a compassionate presence in times of crisis.
This is Mann’s first deployment with the Red Cross, but he has traveled as a medical volunteer to Uganda, Honduras, and Ecuador with a number of other agencies. As a Red Cross volunteer, Mann can only provide health-care services to the level of a registered nurse. He, like all Red Cross health service associates, can refer clients to local health care organizations when the need arises.
Mann has an understanding wife back home in Madison, Wisconsin. “I see her as another Red Cross volunteer by taking care of things at home while I’m here,” said Mann.
“I’ve heard some incredible survival stories from clients. Most have an amazingly positive attitude in the face of such destruction. I’ve just talked with a man who has seven feet of water in his basement. He’s just systematically going about the things he needs to do to get it cleaned out. These people are tough and resilient,” said Mann.