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.
“That’s something I ought to be doing,” thought Larry Bomar after reading the Facebook posts of Mid-South Red Cross volunteer Bob Wallace that described Wallace’s experiences as a volunteer during the Superstorm Sandy disaster relief. Soon, Bomar was enrolled in the introductory course for new volunteers, Disaster Services: An Overview.
Bomar is now a certified operator of Red Cross emergency vehicles and has assisted with local fire calls as a member of a disaster assistance team (DAT). “I never realized there was so much paperwork associated with Red Cross assistance,” noted Bomar, a fact that is a surprise to many new volunteers.
Recently Bomar traveled to Nashville for the two-day training course, Restoring Family Links, which is part of the International Services arm of the Red Cross. It is a program that works to locate and connect relatives who have been separated by natural disasters or armed conflicts. Although still looking for a niche that suits him best, Bomar is enthused about continuing as a DAT member and in assisting Rosemary Cook at the Mid-South office with the Restoring Family Links program. He is also interested in deployment to assist with a national disaster response.
Bomar is a native Memphian who spent 38 years working for Methodist Hospital before his retirement in 2013. During his hospital career he provided classroom support for the nursing education program and staff development. In this role he was often required to shoot and edit video, set up video conferences, and maintain satellite communications equipment.
Bluegrass music is a passion for Bomar. He could be heard for many years on the Memphis radio “Shelby County Farm and Poultry Show,” which featured his take on his favorite genre of music. Although the show is no longer broadcast, Bomar retains his passion for bluegrass: He is a Professional Broadcast Member of the International Bluegrass Association, a Founding Member of the Memphis Area Bluegrass Association, and a Lifetime Member of the International Bluegrass Museum in Owensboro, Kentucky.
Bomar has a long history as a community volunteer. In addition to the Red Cross, He volunteers at Shelby Farms where on Wednesdays he often handles a shift at the visitors’ desk in the main building of the park. He volunteered for six years as an Auxiliary Probation Officer for Juvenile court. On Sundays, he can be found at the First Unitarian Church of the River where he serves as the Chief Usher.
Profile Posted April 6, 2013
Story and Photo Credit: Robert W. Wallace/American Red Cross