The FNHA is expanding on a longstanding partnership with the Canadian Red Cross to collaborate on the “Ready When the Time Comes" program. Through this new agreement, the FNHA will provide up to 30 employees when required to the Red Cross for disaster response in BC.
“Our employees understand the needs of the BC First Nations communities we serve and the importance of community-based action," said Richard Jock, Interim CEO, FNHA. “This is a great opportunity to apply this knowledge and contribute their skills and labour to communities throughout the province in their hour of greatest need."
The “Ready When the Time Comes" program enables the Red Cross to gather community-based volunteer teams, made up of staff members deployed from partner organizations like the FNHA. These volunteer teams can then be mobilized during natural disasters, including floods or wildfires that affect First Nations.
“British Columbia has experienced disasters at an increasing frequency over the last few years. As we prepare for flood and wildfire season, the Red Cross is grateful to our colleagues at the First Nations Health Authority for their commitment to the Ready When the Times Comes program, helping us respond quickly and effectively to support people and communities impacted by disasters," said Pat Quealey, Vice-President, BC and Yukon, Canadian Red Cross.
Through this partnership, FNHA employees will have the opportunity to take a paid volunteer leave to support Red Cross operations in BC as needed, beginning in June 2020.
FNHA volunteers will receive emergency response training from the Red Cross, and serve during natural disasters as Emergency Responders. They will also receive additional training to ensure services are delivered safely within the context of COVID-19.
Additional information about the “Ready When the Time Comes" program can be found at www.redcross.ca