2009-02-12 / Letters

Praise For Those Who Helped At Ft. Loudon Fire

To The Editor:

We here at the Franklin County Chapter of the American Red Cross would like to make mention of some events that took place on January 27, 2009, during the Fort Loudon Inn fire. This particular day was very tragic since a life was lost and people lost their homes, but there were so many wonderful things that took place this day, and we would like to recognize a few:

The wonderful staff and volunteers from the Fort Loudon Senior Activity Center and the Department of Aging who without hesitation opened up the center as a refuge from the inclement weather. Not only did the staff allow the Red Cross to operate a shelter on site, they provided us with much-needed support in all areas of comfort, feeding and casework to assist not only those affected by the fire, but also the first responders as well.

The staff from Franklin / Fulton Department of Mental Health who quickly arrived to provide emotional and mental support not only to those directly affected, but also to first responders, volunteers and to the community if needed.

Representatives from the Franklin County Department of Emergency Services, the state fire marshal office and various responding fire companies who provided the Red Cross with timely information and resources that supported our efforts to assist the affected families.

The Fort Loudon community and the owners of the Fort Loudon Inn that braved the inclement weather to offer support to the families through donation of clothes, food, money, resources for shelter, etc.

Every Red Cross volunteer who braved the weather and/or dropped whatever they were doing to ensure the folks at the Fort Loudon Inn were able to have a warm shelter and services to meet their immediate needs.

This was one of the best examples this day of how the community, local government, local businesses and volunteer organizations came together and worked in harmony to comfort, protect and lift up its neighbors in distress. This was a proud day for us at the local Red Cross, and I'm sure a proud day for all of Franklin County.

Allen A. White Emergency Services

Director

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