I recently signed up to be a volunteer RN for The Red Cross Disaster Relief Team. Having expressed my excitement of taking on a new challenge to a high ranking Fire Services Official...I am contemplating whether this is a good idea or not. I was told that several towns/cities in my area send the Red Cross home from a scene because "they send bills to the victims in the aftermath" & "they don't do anything but stand around". Looking for more information before I commit to something that doesn't seem appropriate (IMO) for a humanitarian relief organization.
The primary role of a nurse in DAT is to secure any needed medical supplies, equipment or prescriptions lost or unavailable after a small disaster. You are not first response, that is fire & EMS. You would be trained in the DAT functions including securing personal items, shelter and any immediate need identified at the scene (such as a hotel room for a renting family with no rental insurance and no family nearby). If you are shelter trained you are first aid, public health & follow up on anyone sent to the hospital from the disaster.
Red Cross does not bill for disaster services as it's a congressional mandate. However first responders handle most immediate needs and there is minimal need for nurses on a DAT. Perhaps in health services and shelter operations