When most of us think about Direct Relief International, we think about aid distribution in places like Haiti and Pakistan, but sometimes we need not look farther than our own backyard.
With the help of a $50,000 FedEx donation and the efforts of Direct Relief International, the Ventura County Medical Reserve Corps (MRC) was equipped last week with 125 Medical Relief Packs, 100 of which will go to nurses and 25 to emergency medical technicians. Because of this coordination, Direct Relief International presented Fed-Ex’s Shane O’Connor, program advisor for FedEx’s Global Citizenship program, with a Global Partner Award.
These backpacks were prepared specifically for disaster situations. With three versions, one for emergency medical technicians, one for nurses, and one for physicians, the backpacks are fitted with more than 100 supplies that are vital in relief operations after a disaster.
O’Connor, who has worked with FedEx for nearly 20 years, made sure to recognize Direct Relief’s efforts in creating and eventually standardizing the medical relief backpack, which he hopes will eventually be used in relief work all over the world. When he is not focusing his time working with different NGO’s and nonprofits, O’Connor believes it is absolutely necessary for local communities to be well prepared for disasters, not only for humanitarian reasons, but also because of California’s position in the global economy.
Thomas Tighe, CEO of Direct Relief International, was more than thankful to FedEx, noting that “having human resources are great, but without materials having these resources makes less sense when planning for disaster relief efforts.”
The director of Ventura County’s MRC, Dan Wall, was also there to present the award to O’Connor. Wall thanked FedEx and Direct Relief for their generosity and jokingly said that “the packs were an amazing addition to their existing supplies: hats and T-shirts.”
Brett Williams, Direct Relief director of emergency response, was also on hand to showcase the medical relief packs. He along with medical personnel throughout California were all part of the brain power who worked together to make this pack the standard throughout the country.
All in all, these gentlemen who work in relief efforts worldwide emphasized the importance of nonprofits, non-governmental organizations, and private companies working together to help out where government cannot.