The Madison-Oneida Red Cross and Dunkin Donuts announces Vernon resident Carl Carlstead as recipient of the March Volunteer of the Month Award.
Retired from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years, and still working part-time for the Rome Research Corp., Carl Carlstead is one of our volunteer-staff, a board member and Disaster Services chairman. Carl is a huge supporter of all the Chapter's fund raising activities, you will find him on April 4th at the Drive thru Bar-B-Que grilling chickens in front of Walmart and handing out items at the Silent Auction on April 24 at the Rusty Rail.
Having a military background has given him plenty of experience in planning, coordination, and filling out paperwork. In his years of traveling to different localities he has had exposure to many different cultures, and he speaks several different languages. All this serves him well, as he functions on our Chapter's behalf in disaster assessment and mass care situations.
Carl first became involved with the Red Cross organization through a family member, and began taking disaster courses in Texas as something to do during his retirement. Then, residing in Vernon, he came to volunteer with the Madison-Oneida Chapter in 1997. He went out on his first disaster call, serving with the Jefferson County emergency operations center during a major ice storm in Watertown in 1998. Since then he has worked at many types of disaster scenes throughout the United States.
Carl has become a "disaster junky," a person highly motivated by the desire to go and perform the hands-on services so vital to helping a person go from desolation to working towards recovery. He also enjoys the camaraderie of working with other Red Cross volunteers at the sites, and notes it is often like a reunion of old friends. Carl emphasizes the work is often hard, but immensely satisfying.