On Saturday, October 15, the American Red Cross Hawaii Chapter will honor nine people and one dog for their contributions to the community. All week long, Steve Uyehara will introduce you to these Red Cross Heroes on Hawaii News Now Sunrise.
HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Joy Memmer has been a disaster volunteer since 2005. She's currently a disaster action team captain in the Hilo area and is responsible for leading Red Cross responses to disasters such as house fires. With her leadership, her team assesses situations and provides assistance to those affected.
Memmer is now taking the lead for emergency shelters in Hawaii county. But besides assisting people in the islands, she continues to help in national disaster response assignments. She's gone to Texas for Hurricane Gustav and Ike and to American Samoa after the tsunami.
In fact, Memmer just got back from Vermont and Pennsylvania, where she was assisting in the wake of Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee.
"Over 5,000 homes destroyed and many people homeless due to the fact that they didn't have anywhere to go," says Memmer. "They were just so relieved every time they saw a Red Cross or even a vest. We always wore the Red Cross vests."
Memmer recently returned from Alabama assisting those affected by the tornadoes. She brought back her experience and knowledge to Hawaii so if a large disaster occurs here, the Hawaii Red Cross is better prepared to respond.
Memmer is also a CPR and First Aid instructor for disaster volunteers and a disaster training instructor.
Joy Memmer is the East Hawaii Volunteer of the Year.