David Fraser has been a disaster management and communications volunteer for more than 10 years, providing comfort in times of emergency for many Canadians.

Recently, he received the highest honour as a volunteer, the Order of the Red Cross, for his dedication in going above and beyond to help others.

Fellow Red Cross volunteers, as well as Order recipients, who have worked through various disasters with David, were enthusiastic in their endorsement of his nomination for the Order of Red Cross - Member. David received his Order on May 31st in Ottawa.

“He has this calming presence,” says Barb Trant, a disaster management volunteer in Ottawa who has worked alongside David for the past 10 years. “He has a warm and comforting way about him. This award is very well deserved. It is the highest level and there are so many steps to get there – he certainly went past those steps.”

From left to right: Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauvé, Canadian Red Cross volunteers David Fraser and Ella West.

Pictured from left to right: Canadian Red Cross CEO Conrad Sauvé, David Fraser receiving his award and Ella West, Canadian Red Cross volunteer.


David has responded to numerous disasters including the fires and floods in Saskatchewan in 2011, Hurricane Sandy in 2012, the Toronto ice storm in 2013, and Ontario spring flooding last year.

“Dave’s a real asset to the team,” adds Debbie James, a disaster management volunteer for more than 12 years. “One of the many things he brings is a very optimistic attitude.  Every time he encounters a challenge, Dave always says this is an opportunity to do better and makes everybody think bigger. I think that’s a huge benefit when we’re trying to do responses or preparedness – taking what could be perceived as a negative and turning it into a positive.”

Sally St. Lewis received her Order of the Red Cross in 2011, as well as receiving her 50 Years (of service) plaque, and endorsed David after working with him in various projects for the past decade.

“He has a lovely laugh and smile every time,” says Sally. “He is always pleasant and a committed Red Crosser. I got to know David personally when we both served on the Former Regional Council and travelled together to various Branches for meetings. He definitely gained my respect.”

 As soon as news of the spring flooding was reported in Ottawa last year, David was one of the first on the scene setting up a shelter and reception centre in Orleans.

“My experience always, whether it is responding to a local house fire, a disaster internationally or a disaster like the flooding this year, is that the presence of the Red Cross provides people comfort and assurance that things will work out. As soon as people see these Red Cross vests, I think it brings a sense of calm and a sense that whatever they need, the Red Cross will help them figure that out,” David said.
 
Congratulations to all of the award recipients who were recognized at the Annual Meeting Awards ceremony. The event showcased the outstanding contributions of our people and partners, and recognized excellence achieved in Canadian Red Cross programs and services during the past year.

Find out more about
volunteering with the Canadian Red Cross.