By Angela Hill, Red Cross communications aid worker

For Ross Pratt it was an easy decision to leave Regina and volunteer with the Canadian Red Cross as the organization supports evacuees from the B.C. wildfires.

Volunteerism is in his blood.

“It’s a family value that we have, it’s through our own success that we like to give back to the community and continue that by helping other people within our community to succeed as well,” he said.

Canadian Red Cross volunteer Ross Pratt

Red Cross logistics volunteer Ross Pratt travelled from Regina to help with the response to the B.C. wildfires. This is Ross’ fifth mission with the Red Cross. He says volunteerism is a big part of his family and tradition. Photo: Marko Kokic/Canadian Red Cross

Ross has responded to four previous disasters in Saskatchewan including helping in flooding and fires, before being deployed to Kamloops to help as a logistics volunteer.

“I feel like I am playing my part,” Ross said about the evacuation.

He is part of a team that ensures all the equipment and supplies are where they need to be.

Ross says it’s important to him to be volunteering in disaster management as an Indigenous person.
“A lot of First Nations are in the rural setting, they don’t have a lot of emergency services set in place. There is a high demand for emergency preparedness in many communities that don’t have access to resources that some of the big cities have.”

Ross grew up in Regina, but spent summers on the Muscowpetung Saulteaux First Nation, just outside of the city.

When he’s not helping in disasters, Ross volunteers with the Red Cross in Saskatchewan providing personal disaster assistance, seeing to the needs to people who have been displaced by house fires.
“I am happy to see that the Canadian Red Cross is helping out,” Ross said.
“It’s phenomenal what they do when they come together from small-scale to large-scale disasters.”