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Published by Kenyon Stanley

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Published by: Kenyon Stanley on Jan 11, 2012
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Appendix AThe Mooresville Disaster Action Team (D.A.T.) of the American Red Cross is responsible for respondingto emergencies that impact citizens in the Lake Norman area. There are many emergencies which wouldrequire a D.A.T. to mobilize and meet the emergency needs of affected citizens that have experienceddisasters ranging from fires to floods, tornadoes, straight line winds, snow or ice. There are 4 D.A.T.sthat are based out of Mooresville and each team is comprised of 7 people who are both volunteer and fulltime personnel. The volunteers are on call one week per month while the full time personnel are either onduty or on call 24 hours a day 7 days per week. I am a volunteer and am required to carry a pager duringthe 3
week of every month. Norms and RolesSome of the critical and peripheral norms within our Disaster Action Team at the Mooresville chapter of American Red Cross are:Critical Norms1.Every member is expected to arrive at meetings on time.2.Every member is expected to wear an American Red Cross T-Shirt when responding to a disaster so we can be easily identified by affected citizens, media and each other.3.During the meetings, individual and smaller group roles for the week are assigned, clarified and practiced to ensure maximum efficiency.4.Every member is expected to complete official American Red Cross training for the differentroles the Disaster Action Team performs.5.Every member is required to carry a pager 24 hours a day for the entire week her or him is oncall.6.Every member is expected to arrive at the Mooresville chapter of the American Red Cross withinone hour of being paged about a local disaster. Therefore, during the weeks we are on call, we
are expected to limit our travels to locations that don’t exceed 45 miles from the Mooresvillechapter.7.Every group member is required to complete the required training in order to operate theEmergency Response Vehicle (ERV) within one year of initial service in the event that theassigned ERV operator is injured during deployment or fails to respond to the initial dispatch.Peripheral Norms1.Every member is expected to dress and act in a professional manner during meetings and whiledispatched to an emergency (e.g. clean uniform, treat each other and the public with respect, etc.)2.Prior to our scheduled meetings, coffee and snacks are available for group members.3.When a new member joins a group, they are asked to speak about who they are and why they joined the Disaster Action Team.4.After the conclusion of our regularly scheduled meetings group members stay after and chatabout issues not related to the Disaster Action Team for about 20 minutes.5.During meetings, the group sits in chair arranged in a circle and speakers speak and respond in aclockwise manner.6.When not dispatched to an emergency, group members identify each other on a first name basis.However, when the group is responding to an emergency, we identify each other formally (Mr. or Ms. so and so).7.Whenever the group meets or is dispatched, we never discuss religion or politics.Roles that are Evident1.Howard is the most senior full time employee of our team and he is the appointed leader.2.Sherry is a volunteer and had been a nurse for 15 years. Therefore, Sherry is in charge of triage.3.Although I am not the most senior member, nor am an employee of the American Red Cross, dueto my communication background whenever members of the press are at the scene of a disaster, Iam responsible for speaking to sending the message as a representative of the Red Cross.4.The person responsible for driving the Emergency Response Vehicle is either the leader or themost senior employee or volunteer on the team.
5.Kim is a licensed counselor so she provides grief and loss counseling to affected citizens.6.The men do all of the heavy lifting.CohesionOverall our Disaster Action Team has a high level of cohesion. We have all been together for over 2years and have responded to a wide variety of emergencies ranging from tornados, floods and fires. Weknow what roles we play and where the expertise lies in our teammates. We meet both inside the realmof our group responsibilities as well as privately. We are a team.We have been guilty of groupthink on several occasions. I recall one occasion when Bruce a retiredengineer was examining a mobile home that was damaged by a tornado and I thought the structure lookedunsafe. I didn’t say anything because I figured Bruce is the engineer and he knows what he is doing.Unfortunately, some drywall broke loose and fell on Bruce’s head. Although he was wearing a helmet,Bruce did suffer a concussion. At our debriefing meeting, Howard reaffirmed the need for team membersto voice any concerns we have that may or may not affect the safety of fellow teammates or the public.Had I not known that Bruce was an expert in the field of structural engineering, I would have been morelikely to point out the dangers of the building that Bruce couldn’t see from his position. Bruce’s injuryoccurred over a year ago and we still refer to it when any of us feel that our team’s communication isdeclining and we are settling into a rut.Appendix BDiversity

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