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.
“Ed simply asked ‘What do you need?’ After discussion of ideas for the mass care storage and the DAT [Disaster Action Team] room, Ed was able to roll everything we needed into a plan,” Bailley continued. “He worked tirelessly and efficiently to measure and plot the space, to coordinate volunteers to move all the shelving prior to the move, to get rid of garbage, and to think strategically about the location of supplies as required for a quick response. As a result of Ed’s work, we will be able to implement a more effective supply inventory and better manage the resources for disaster.”
Ed Taylor is not a “Johnny-come-lately” to the American Red Cross. His involvement began in 1979 in Michigan when he accompanied his mother to a Red Cross First Aid/CPR class. Taylor remembers the instructor, Shirley Mack, as someone who had a huge influence on his life. “She was a great instructor….I decided right then that that was what I wanted to do…. That experience started my life in EMS [Emergency Medical Service] and fire fighting. It all started from that one class,” said Taylor.
Ed worked as a professional Emergency Medical Technician and for five years as a Director of Operations for an ambulance company in Michigan. Woven into this work, he also managed volunteering with the Red Cross, teaching advanced first aid and babysitting courses and serving on an ethics committee, amongst other duties at the Mid-Michigan Chapter.
In 2008 Ed moved to Alabama, and he continued volunteering with the Red Cross at the Alabama Regional Headquarters in Hoover, Alabama, and also with the Cullman, Alabama, Chapter. In 2010 he moved his official affiliation to the Mid-South Red Cross, where he has served as a logistics specialist and shelter supervisor. He is currently working towards the position of Mass Care Manager.
Ed continues to live on his farm in Blountsville, Alabama, with this wife and two children, but he commutes to Memphis during the week for his job at the Ford Motor Company. There, he is a logistics specialist at Ford’s one million-square-foot warehouse. His job involves health and safety issues, ergonomics, and the filling of orders, amongst other duties.
On their 120-acre farm, Ed and his wife raise cows, sheep, hogs, and chickens. He notes that they raise all their own meat and sell what they do not use.
Ed speaks glowingly of his wife and two children who live at home. His wife is a Desert Storm Veteran who is disabled due to an accident during her service with the military police. Their 18-year old son is a graduate of the Alabama 2014 Boys State and is enlisting in the Air Force. They also have a 14-year old daughter at home who is a member of Future Leaders of Tomorrow and was chosen to visit Washington D.C., where she looks forward to visiting the Supreme Court to further her ambition to become a lawyer.
In addition to all of his other activities, Ed has pursued higher education. He holds two Bachelor’s Degrees, one in Public Safety and the other in Behavioral Science, both from Siena Heights University in Michigan, and a Master’s Degree in Applied Science in Criminal Justice from Colorado Technical University, where he was a Distinguished Graduate.
Reflecting on the recent move to the new Mid-South Red Cross facility, Ed commented, “it devoured my life.” But he goes on to say that the move would not have been possible without the help from a whole team of folks who made it possible, especially Elaine Clyburn and Ted Parrish. “It simply would not have been completed without their help,” concluded Ed.
“I love it,” said Ed, when asked how he likes the new facility. “I’ve been to a lot of chapters that do not have nearly as nice a place. We are very blessed here.”
“The Red Cross has opened up so many opportunities for me,” Ed continued. “The sky is the limit. It’s a great resume builder for young people, and for those further along in their lives, it’s an opportunity to share skills and knowledge.”
Photo and story credits: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross