We’re very excited to share with you news that the Canadian Red Cross is deploying its new field hospital to Haiti tomorrow.

This is the first time that the Canadian Red Cross is deploying a field hospital staffed with Canadians to assist with an emergency. Red Cross workers – known as delegates – will be on the ground helping Haitians cope with the recent cholera outbreak.

Here in Ontario, we are proud to announce that we have two people being deployed in this mission.

Some of you know John Saunders, our blog’s Disaster Dude and Twitter friend (@CRCSaunders). John, a former paramedic who is

Provincial Disaster Management Director, John Saunders, is interviewed by Rogers TV. / Photo credit: Johan Hallberg-Campbell

the provincial Red Cross disaster manager in Ontario, will be working alongside team leaders doing everything from general administration to logistics, ensuring the health and safety of our workers and providing support to our medical team.

“It’s an honour to be able to deploy with the field hospital and to be able to make a difference,” he said. “We hear so much about how they’ve suffered in Haiti with the earthquake, flooding and cholera – and now I have this opportunity to go there and help them.”

The other delegate from Ontario is Bonnie Kearns. At age 65, Bonnie has a lifetime of service in healthcare; she spent 40 years in nursing. She’s been a Red Cross volunteer for 26 years helping in her hometown, Sarnia. She’s responded to local emergencies and delivered Meals on Wheels with her husband, Peter (who is also a Red Cross volunteer transportation driver). This will be Bonnie’s third international mission – she spent six months in Afghanistan and was deployed in Pakistan after the 2005 earthquake.

“My friends and my family say I’m brave, but for me, it’s not about being brave,” she said. “It’s giving back to the world. I don’t feel afraid; I feel privileged to have an opportunity to do this. I just want to do the best job I can and when I get there, I plan to give it my all.”

We plan to keep you posted on this blog with updates from the field. You can also follow our updates on Twitter using the hashtag #CRCeru.