Updated 06/29/2012 02:03 PM
Local volunteers helping with Colorado wildfires
It's the worst fire in Colorado's history claiming at least one person's life and destroying hundreds of people's homes. The American Red Cross already has 350 volunteers there to help those displaced but two more, closer to home, are also on their way. Our Megan Cruz saw them off at Albany International Airport Friday morning.
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COLONIE, N.Y. -- "I just want to help them," said Skip Zimmerman, a Red Cross Disaster Volunteer.
And he'll be getting that opportunity on Friday as the Red Cross deploys him to Colorado.
"I found out less than 24 hours ago," said Zimmerman.
Glens Falls resident Skip Zimmerman is one of two to be deployed from our area as part of the Red Cross' national call to action. They're meant to replace staff and volunteers who have been working in Colorado since June 9th.
"Will be working to support the volunteers who are actually working in shelters and feeding programs. I'm going to be there to have my hand on their shoulders, and help them get through some of the stress they're feeling," said Zimmerman.
"We are the customer service for the Red Cross. We take care of our staff coming from outside the colorado area. When you're out in the field, sometimes you're out there 12, 14, 16 hours. If you don't take care of yourself, you can't take care of others," said Kathryn Smith, another Red Cross Disaster Volunteer.
Smith said she's looking forward to her first out-of-state deployment. "I have a niece out there who I just found out is half an hour from where we're going into. I know she's okay, but who knows what's going to happen. So just knowing that I could be helping her in the long run is an amazing feeling," said Smith.
With no estimate as to when the fire will be out, Zimmerman and Smith are expecting to spend at least two weeks there. They said, it's a sacrifice for them and their families, but one they'll all gladly make.
"What I'm going through is nothing as compared to what they're having to deal with," said Zimmerman.
"My husband's used to this, been doing this for awhile. The little one isn't so happy right now," said Smith.
"Can't imagine people being out of their homes and losing everything. We just had a taste of that locally where a lot of our neighbors lost their homes. It's tough. Very proud of her. She helps a lot of people," said David Smith, Kathryn's husband.