Red Cross volunteers help Airmen at base medical center, overseas

WRIGHT-PATTERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Ohio – The Red Cross service to the armed forces helps military members, veterans and their families prepare for, cope with and respond to the challenges of military service. Emergency communications, training, support to wounded warriors and veterans, and access to community resources help an average of 150,000 military families and veterans annually.

The Red Cross also provides help to Airmen at the Wright-Patterson Medical Center. Loretta Johanson, Red Cross volunteer office coordinator, learned of a need to transport patients in the facility and sought permission to set up the Patients Escort Transportation Service, housed at the information desk in the lobby of the medical center.

“Permission was granted and now we have the Red Cross transporting patients at the hospital and to and from local clinics in the medical center,” Johanson said. “PETS serves military, spouses, dependents, and retirees,” she said.

If someone has an emergency at home, the American Red Cross Hero Care Center is available 7 days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with two options for requesting assistance, online and by phone. You can initiate a request for Red Cross emergency assistance for members of the military currently serving on active duty by using the online self-service tool at www.redcross.org/get-help/military-families/emergency-communication. To speak to a Red Cross Emergency Communications Specialist, call: 1-877-272-7337.

“Families will bring retirees to the medical center and Red Cross “PETS” will come and pick them up at the base hospital lobby with a wheelchair and take them where they need to go. When PETS gets a call from a clinic they will transport the patient to and from the clinic in the medical center,” Johanson said.

“Red Cross desperately needs volunteers for the medical center,” said Johanson. 

Anyone who is interested in volunteering, should call Johanson at 937-257-9876.

Johanson, who worked many years at Wright-Patt in Building 1, in Area A, continues to volunteer even after she retired. She is currently into her 60th year of volunteering for Red Cross. She coordinates 40 Red Cross volunteers who serve at Wright-Patterson AFB hospital on a daily basis.

For additional information, email Red Cross at jeffrey.tuttle@us.af.mil or call 937-257-9876.