By Steve Tawa
PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — This is National Volunteer Week, and here in Philadelphia the importance of ordinary people who respond to emergencies took on special meaning in the wake of the Boston Marathon bombings just one week ago.
Although though many of the volunteers honored at today’s City Hall ceremony were not EMT-trained like those who applied tourniquets to bombing victims, their yeoman’s work during unforseen emergencies cannot be overestimated.
In particular, more than a dozen volunteers from Greater Philadelphia Emergency Disaster Services section of the Salvation Army were singled out for multi-day operations in these parts, including providing relief at three evacuation centers to support people displaced by Superstorm Sandy, and helping folks who were evacuated due to flooding from a 48″ water main break at 21st and Bainbridge Streets. Those Salvation Army volunteers also helped first responders at both emergencies.
At the ceremony, city managing director Rich Negrin (third from right in photo) encouraged people to get involved with organizations like the Red Cross and Salvation Army.
“You can volunteer and get the appropriate training early, in case something happens and you have an opportunity to be first on scene,” he said.