Will Lead Response To All Disasters in Northeast Ohio
Tim O’Toole, who recently retired as Assistant Chief of Operations for the Cleveland Division of Fire, is the new Disaster Program Officer for the American Red Cross Northeast Ohio Region.
O’Toole served the city of Cleveland for almost 35 years in various positions of responsibility, including Chief of Staff and Acting Division Chief for the Cleveland Fire Department, and was named the first Manager of the Mayor’s Office of Emergency Preparedness, under then-mayor Michael R. White, in response to the events of September 11, 2001.
“We are extremely fortunate to have a disaster program manager with such vast experience,” said Mike Parks, CEO of the Northeast Ohio Region. “Chief O’Toole’s extensive background in disaster preparedness and emergency management will benefit the 4.5 million people who live in the 22 counties we serve. His leadership and experience fit perfectly with the mission of the American Red Cross: to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies.”
Among the major emergencies Tim responded to and managed were the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy in 2012, preparation for Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and the massive blackout of 2003. He has also been involved with training for most of the disaster drills that have been staged in Cleveland over the past several years.
One such drill was held at Cleveland Hopkins Airport on September 19. Volunteers and staff from the American Red Cross provided support at the Emergency Operations Center, and staffed the Family Assistance Center, where participants role-played as loved ones concerned about the fate of the “victims” of the mock air disaster.
As Regional Disaster Officer, O’Toole will lead all American Red Cross responses to disasters of any scale in Northeast Ohio, by mobilizing the community to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies. He will also continue to develop and support volunteers, who serve as the primary disaster-response workforce.
If you are interested in volunteering to respond to disasters in your community and beyond, please visit our website: www.redcross.org/neo and click on “Volunteer” on the left side of the screen. You will be dropped directly into the application process. You may also call 216-431-3328 or email, NEOvolunteer@redcross.org.