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HISTORY OF ALERT PROGRAM IN LIONS CLUBS INTERNATIONAL DISTRICT 20-O

In 2006-2007 the International President for Lions Clubs International was Jimmy M. Ross. He wanted the Lions Clubs to be on the front line of disasters to help people.
District 20-O formed a committee that met in Wurtsboro at the meeting location of the Mamakating Lioness Club. Money was donated and put into a bank account called the Help Fund.
In that same year the International Director Larry Johnson from West Virginia was the speaker at the District 20-O Convention and spoke about forming an alert team. He was on the board of the Red Cross back in his home town. He advised that he would discuss partnering with the American Red Cross when he returned to International. If we formed a partnership with the Red Cross we could be on the front line without requiring fundraisers to support another committee and we would be given instant recognition at an emergency scene.
The American Red Cross in the Greater New York Area has a program called Ready When the Time Comes (RWTC). This program is unique to this area and was a partnership between local business, organizations and community based groups to train volunteer teams in disaster relief and deploy them to disaster sites in the New York area.
April 2008 Minisink Valley Lions Club (f/k/a Town of Greenville/Wawayanda Lions Club) was the first group in District 20-O to take advantage of the training and form a RWTC team. They were activated on March 15, 2008 for a crane collapse in Manhattan, but did not respond. In February 2010 they were activated to help staff a shelter during a fierce snowstorm in the Lower Hudson Valley.
In March 27, 2009 International President Al Brandel met with the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) in Geneva, Switzerland and signed a Memorandum of Understanding to partner.

On August 5, 2009 1st VDG Stuart Wizwer and DG Clifford W. Youngs attended a meeting in Middletown NY with Graham Scott, Director of Emergency Services for Greater New York Area and Cesar Rivera, Director of Emergency Services in Lower Hudson Valley to further discuss forming District 20-O RWTC teams in the American Red Cross. On October 9, 2009 Greg Becker Director for Dutchess County Red Cross was on the conference call with everyone above representing the entire Northeast New York Region of Red Cross.

On November 1, 2009 at District 20-O Convention a Lions RWTC presentation was made by Cesar Rivera, Director of Emergency Services in the Lower Hudson Valley.
Due to problems with dates, trainers and guaranteeing 20 trainees the training that was planned never took place in 2009-2010. Due to no training the agreement that was prepared and approved by Lions Clubs International was never signed.

In 2010-2011 training for RWTC occurred in Sullivan County for members of Sullivan and Orange Counties (Only two counties located in Greater New York Red Cross geographic boundaries) under the direction of Alert Chair Al Frangipane

As of July 2011-Funds have been used for:
Disaster in Liberty, NY
Disaster in Port Jervis, NY
Lions International website in 2008 had Ted Blair as the Lions Alert Program Chair for District 20-O.
In 2008-2009 Marge Carroll was the chair and VDG John Wells was treasurer of the Emergency Preparedness Committee.
In 2009-2010 1st VDG Stuart Wizwer was chair and VDG John Wells was treasurer of the Alert Team.
In 2010-2011 Al Frangipane was chair and the account was turned over to the District Treasurer to be maintained as a separate account.