Starting on January 1st, there will be a greatly reduced American Red Cross presence in Kodiak. The disaster relief organization says it will not actually be closing the office, as was previously announced, but instead it will keep the office open, but not staff it.
Sally Magnuson, the Kodiak logistics specialists, has been with the Red Cross here for 15 years. She was made a half-time employee last year, and will lose her job in the shake-up. In her place, a part-time employee will be hired to open the Red Cross building when a training session is to be held. She was not offered that job, but she says the story isn’t about her – it’s about the level of service Kodiak will receive now that much of it will be handled out of Anchorage.
— (Red Cross 1 16 sec “The disasters are still responded … out of Anchorage now.”)
If there is an urgent need, such as a family displaced by a house fire for example, Magnuson told KMXT that local emergency responders will put the Anchorage Red Cross in touch with the victims:
— (Red Cross 2 16 sec “They will be provided for their … um, it would appear.”)
Magnuson says there are some services that the Kodiak Red Cross office has provided over the years that she fears will go away:
— (Red Cross 3 45 sec “On thing that the Kodiak Office … at least not in Alaska.”)
She says the de-staffing of the Kodiak office is due to budget cuts, and that changes have been happening for almost 10 years. She says in 2003, the Kodiak Chapter of the Red Cross was re-designated the Kodiak Office of one consolidated Alaska Chapter of the Red Cross. More changes came last summer:
— (Red Cross 4 29 sec “The National Red Cross came … in Kodiak since July of last year.”)
Paton Stott, interim CEO of the Alaska Red Cross office in Anchorage, said in a written statement that the changes were mandated by the national office. He said even though Red Cross staff will not be in the Kodiak, the community will still have access to Red Cross training and services.