Retired Lafayette firefighter David Fagan is joining the ranks of 300 Red Cross workers in northwest Washington.
On March 22, a rain-soaked hillside gave way sending a one-mile-wide swath of land and rock rushing into a neighborhood of the tiny town of Oso, about 50 miles from Seattle.
As search and recovery teams continue combing through the soil and debris to determine how many people died, Red Cross volunteers like Fagan try to help restore a sense of order in the community.
"When disasters happen there is a mass confusion and everybody is distraught, they don't know where to turn," explains Fagan, "that's why we're an organized group that says 'hey, come to us, we'll help you through this.'"
As a Community Partnership Manager for Red Cross, Fagan helps connect people and resources. He’s a 9-year veteran of the Red Cross, and served after Hurricane Sandy and wildfires in Colorado and Arizona.
This marks his 30th national deployment, and he will be on the scene helping affected families in the weeks – and possibly months – to come.