American Red Cross office merges with neighboring region
The American Red Cross Southwestern Pennsylvania Region merged with the American Red Cross Northwestern Pennsylvania Region to form the new American Red Cross Western Pennsylvania Region on Jan. 1, a move designed to increase local services and disaster response capacity while making more efficient use of donated dollars.
The Western Pennsylvania Region will include 11 chapters covering all 25 Western Pennsylvania counties ranging from the New York border to the West Virginia border. Red Cross offices throughout the new Western Pennsylvania Region will work more closely to share resources, expertise, volunteers and staff, creating a more efficient organization with a drastically increased response capacity.
The Southwestern Pennsylvania Region currently includes five chapters covering 13 counties: the Indiana County Chapter (serving Indiana County); the Keystone Chapter (serving Cambria and Somerset counties); the Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter (serving Allegheny, Fayette, Greene and Washington counties), the West-Central Pennsylvania (serving Beaver, Butler, Lawrence and Mercer counties); the Westmoreland-Armstrong Chapter (serving Westmoreland and Armstrong counties).
The Northwestern Pennsylvania Region currently includes six chapters covering 12 counties: the Allegheny Chapter (serving Clarion, Crawford, Forest and Venango counties); the Corry Chapter (serving parts of Erie and Warren counties); the Greater Erie Chapter (serving the majority of Erie County); the McKean-Potter Chapter (serving McKean and Potter counties); the Pennsylvania Heartland Chapter (serving Cameron, Clearfield, Elk and Jefferson counties); and the Warren Chapter (serving the majority of Warren County).
Following the merger, the above two Regional entities will become one.
The merger comes as part of a national American Red Cross reorganization designed to reduce overhead costs and streamline operations while increasing programming and disaster response capacity through the sharing of resources.
The reorganization will not interrupt or reduce the level of services provided by the Red Cross. Rather, through the sharing of resources throughout all 25 counties in the Western Pennsylvania Region, the organization will increase its local disaster response capabilities. Additionally, by reducing overhead costs, consolidating back office functions and eliminating duplication of efforts, the Red Cross will be able to direct more funds into its core mission of helping people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.
Additionally, the Red Cross had recently redesigned its Preparedness, Health and Safety programs –including First Aid and CPR classes – in an effort to increase the number of people who are trained in lifesaving skills throughout the entire Western Pennsylvania Region and across the country. These programs are now coordinated by the Red Cross as a devoted, nationally-networked operation focused exclusively on increasing training opportunities.
The lifesaving courses now include technologically advanced features such as standardized online course search and registration, digital course materials and free online refreshers. The Red Cross has also increased its training certification from one to two years.