Disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes, fires, floods, earthquakes and winter storms are common occurrences for the American people. It is through the tireless efforts of American Red Cross volunteers, that on-the-scene assistance is provided to victims of these disasters. Toliver Grier and his wife, Valerie, have been committed to serving the Red Cross in its disaster relief efforts. Toliver's volunteer service includes an excess of 1,800 volunteer hours and spans five years of active service. During her 12 years of active volunteer service, Valerie, a certified nursing assistant, has served as Disaster Action Team Chairwoman for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross for a period of three years and attended over 120 local disaster calls. Valerie was also mobilized as a volunteer for Hurricane Fran in September 1996.
As DAT Chairman, it has been Valerie’s direct responsibility to coordinate the efforts of 18 DAT Volunteers on five active Disaster Action Teams, one of which she leads as the rotating on-duty Captain. As a Disaster Action Team Volunteer, she remains on-call between the hours of 5 p.m. and 8:30 a.m. daily for a period of one week. Calls may come during any of those hours and mobilization is immediate, providing for the immediate needs of shelter, clothing and personal care items of disaster victims.
Not only is Valerie an active Emergency Medical Technician, she is fully qualified in almost every area of disaster training provided by the American Red Cross. She is also a certified instructor of First Aid, CPR, HIV/AIDS, Basic Aid Training and a wide array of disaster training programs. Keeping her hands on the pulse of the community, she volunteers her time as a member of the First Aid Station Team (FAST) for a variety of community activities and willingly offers her expertise in neighborhood activities aimed at educating the public in areas of disaster preparedness or basic safety techniques.
Likewise, Toliver, a city senior construction worker, has served as a Disaster Action Team Captain for the Hampton Roads Chapter of the American Red Cross attending more than 50 local disaster calls. As DAT Captain, his direct responsibility is to coordinate the efforts of 4-7 DAT Volunteers assigned to his current on-call team. This involves training of these volunteers, along with coordination of all aspects of mobilization while on duty. He is actively involved in educating the public in areas of disaster preparedness or basic safety techniques.
"It is through the efforts of volunteers such as Toliver and Valerie Grier that the American Red Cross is able to meet its Congressional Charter," remarks Heather Livingston, Chapter Manager, Hampton Roads Chapter. "Valerie and Toliver Grier are the arms and legs help us reach out and serve the American people 24 hours a day, 365 days a year."