Red Cross Hero: Tom Worthington

HONOLULU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Tom Worthington has been a disaster volunteer on Maui since 2006. His expertise is in technology.

The Red Cross, locally, nationally and internationally, recognizes Worthington's skills in this area, which covers computers, radios and cell phones.

Worthington has been deployed to assist with disaster response in Oklahoma, Texas, California, Arkansas, Louisiana and American Samoa. He's currently helping out in Bangladesh.

But Worthington also serves his community on Maui. He responds to local disasters, has been the hotline operator, opens shelters, taught classes, activates client assistance cards and so much more.

"He's done a lot here," says his wife Leslie Gise on a phone call from the Valley Isle. "Since he's available, all the single-family house fires and all the new people have to respond.

"There was a hostage situation, they had a shelter a couple of times," Gise says. "They had tourists, 450 tourists sleeping on the floor of the Maui gym when the road to Lahaina was closed for a house fire."

After the earthquake in Haiti, Worthington went to Washington D.C. to provide logistical support to the American technology group that was going to Haiti. Each deployment is about three to six weeks long.

Worthington and his team are the first people at the response area in the morning and the last to leave at night. He and his crew ensure communication is up and running so that ultimately people can be assisted.

For his many efforts, Tom Worthington is Maui's Volunteer of the Year.

Copyright 2011 by Hawaii News Now. All Rights Reserved.