Saskatoon

Sask. Red Cross looking for volunteers for upcoming forest fire season

There are about 400 disaster management volunteers in the province at the moment, continually training and preparing through mock exercises to be ready on a moment’s notice.

About 400 disaster management volunteers in the province right now

The Canadian Red Cross is looking for volunteers for the upcoming forest fire season in Saskatchewan. (Corey Hardcastle/Government of Saskatchewan)

The Canadian Red Cross is looking for volunteers in Saskatchewan to help prepare for the upcoming forest fire season.

"When I look at the map of the fire threat, you know, it really extends from the northwest down to southeast and it really is extreme," said Dave Kyba, provincial manager of disaster management.

He said there are about 400 disaster management volunteers in the province at the moment, continually training and preparing through mock exercises to be ready on a moment's notice.

"It's an ongoing process. We always want to improve and tweak our processes… One of them is just to be able to mobilize much more quickly, so we've actually implemented mass notification system that is just ready to go," explained Kyba.

"We're also looking into putting in a rapid response team that has volunteers in the receiving community–communities like La Ronge, or any other community that needs to be evacuated."

Now is the time to sign up

He said since the training process takes time, if people are looking to volunteer and help out during the summer months, now is the time to sign up.

"We always look for someone who has some compassion or empathy for folks who have experienced a disaster," Kyba added.

"And maybe they have some knowledge of their community or knowledge in a specific culture or language. Maybe they bring some special skills to the table and just the willingness to learn about the Red Cross and its processes and what it is that we do."

And if people are just looking to donate, he said it's best to donate financially or through time rather than material goods. 

For more information about how to volunteer in Saskatchewan, contact the Canadian Red Cross at 306-721-1600. 

With files from CBC's Saskatoon Morning

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