BIG ISLAND (HawaiiNewsNow) - When emergencies hit, the American Red Cross responds quickly. They're on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The Red Cross responds to disasters in Hawaii every four days, and it's powered by an amazing group of volunteers like Joyce Lovell.
Joyce Lovell worked as a Registered Nurse for 30 years, and two years ago, she became a volunteer for the Big Island Red Cross Health Services Team. Now she's what they call the "function lead," making sure people's health needs are met following a disaster. This could be anything from replacing medications to finding a generator for someone who needs to operate a C-Pap machine.
Her nursing background is a huge asset. For instance, she worked at one of the shelters in Puna when Iselle hit in 2014.
"Whether they were scraped up, blood pressure problems, things like that, if they didn't have their medication we would arrange for their medication to be brought in," she said. "Sometimes we had to just send them to the hospital, call an ambulance. Sometimes people brought their children in just for me to check them, make sure they were OK."
Joyce is also in charge of assigning nurses to shelters in times of disaster. That can be a challenge since Health Services workers are limited in Hawaii County.
Her colleagues have described her as compassionate and understanding.
Her extra efforts make her one of the Red Cross Heroes.