Maui Volunteer to Assist in Arizona Wildfire Response

July 5, 2013, 3:07 PM HST · Updated July 5, 3:09 PM
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Nicolas Zipperer, 4, shows nurse Sharon Gettman, an American Red Cross volunteer, his “owie,” covered in a bandage. Nurse Gettman counsels the young Peeples Valley resident through his pain, assuring him that his “owie,” like the wildfire conditions, will feel better in time. She offers medical attention to any affected people in need at the local Red Cross shelter in Prescott, Arizona. Tuesday, July 3, 2013, Prescott, Arizona. At the local Red Cross shelter in Prescott, Arizona Photos by Talia Frenkel.

Nicolas Zipperer, 4, shows nurse Sharon Gettman, an American Red Cross volunteer, his “owie,” at the local Red Cross shelter in Prescott, Arizona. The shelter was set up to assist those affected by the Arizona wildfire. Photo (Tuesday, July 3, 2013) courtesy Talia Frenkel.

By Wendy Osher

A Maui woman is among the nine Hawaiʻi Red Cross volunteers that are being deployed to help with response to the deadly Yarnell wildfire in Arizona, officials said.

Maui volunteer, Shannan Pyland, is leaving for Arizona tonight and will serve as a Mass Care Shelter Supervisor upon her arrival, said Michele Liberty, Maui County Director of the American Red Cross Hawaiʻi Chapter.

Pyland was also among the Hawaiʻi contingent that deployed in November to assist in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy on the East Coast.  Earlier last year she was recognized as the agency’s 2012 Red Cross Volunteer of the Year on Maui.

“Our hearts go out to everyone affected by the tragic events,” said Coralie Matayoshi, Chief Executive Officer of the Hawaiʻi State Chapter of the American Red Cross in a press release today.

Shannan Pyland, 2012 Maui Red Cross Volunteer of the Year. Courtesy photo.

Shannan Pyland, 2012 Maui Red Cross Volunteer of the Year. Courtesy photo.

“We extend our deepest condolences to the families of the 19 brave firefighters who lost their lives protecting their community. Our local volunteers will not only share their aloha, but will gain valuable experience to help Hawaiʻi prepare for the next major disaster here in the islands,” said Matayoshi.

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The Hawaiʻi deployment also includes:

  • two nurses from Oʻahu, and one from Hawaiʻi Island, who left on Thursday;
  • three caseworkers from Hawaiʻi Island along with Maui’s Pyland, who are scheduled to depart today; and
  • two volunteers from Oʻahu who leave over the weekend.

Additional volunteers in mental health are being recruited, while other volunteers are on standby, agency officials said.

The Red Cross is assisting those affected by the blaze by providing provisions including food, water, shelter, and mental health services.

To support this and other response efforts conducted by the Red Cross, interested individuals can contact the agency online at redcross.org, by phone to 1-800-RED CROSS, or a $10 donation can be made by texting the word REDCROSS to 90999.

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