COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo - An after action review report is to be released on Friday to focus on how the Pikes Peak Chapter of the Red Cross dealt with the Black Forest fire. Chapter spokesperson Bill Fortune told me that a similar report after the Waldo Canyon wildfire helped his organization zero in on what worked and didn't and make changes that were used during the Black Forest blaze.
Fortune showed me some of the 15 new trailers that were donated to the organization and used during the Black Forest fire. Each is a custom made rig that's 12 thousand dollars, "Most importantly we have shelving and access. We needed a side door and a back door to the trailer to haul important equipment for shelters. We realized our trailers were too small. They are old, don't turn effectively and don't move well. We needed more space." These trailers are definitely the space giants that the previous trailers are definitely not. The key to a successful response in an emergency is to have the equipment to make sure the people who need the help can readily receive it, especially in an emergency the size of the Black Forest fire, "It was much more seamless. The ability to transport goods is critical in any kind of disaster. You want people and you want things."
Fortune also focused on the more than 100 regular cots and more than 100 medical cots that were purchased prior to the Black Forest fire. Those items were part of the after action review report that the Red Cross didn't have enough of during the Waldo Canyon wildfire.
Another key point that was addressed post Waldo Canyon fire and will probably be addressed in this review is continued effective recruitment of volunteers. Bill Fortune told me, "We learned very quickly that the volunteers we have who are dedicated and working in a large scale event get very tired. We need to have more volunteers. We need to continue to focus on streamlining the volunteer process to make it easier and faster."
This Friday, the after action review report will be released and discussed by Red Cross management. It will still take time for a public release of it. When we get a copy of the report, we will release it to you.