Alberta volunteer receives the Order of Red Cross

Written by Shelly Makrugin / Photos: Diana Coulter

Volunteering is a part of life for the Jacobs family.

Garry Jacobs has volunteered with the Canadian Red Cross in Red Deer, Alberta for 30 years – along with his wife Sandy and now his daughter Jodyne (who volunteers in Strathmore, Alberta).

Garry Jacobs holding his Order of the Red Cross pictured with his wife SandyIn February, Garry was awarded the highest volunteer honour from the Canadian Red Cross – the Order of Red Cross, for his incredible contributions to the movement.

Garry began volunteering with the Red Cross as a HAM radio operator for communications. He then moved to emergency management and has assisted in numerous Red Cross responses. From local personal disasters such as house fires to larger emergency responses including the Northridge California Earthquake in 1994, Hurricane George in Puerto Rico in 1998, Hurricane Sandy in New York in 2012, Pine Lake tornado in central Alberta in 2000, Southern Alberta floods in 2013, and Alberta wildfires in 2011 and 2016, Garry is always ready to help.

Amanda De Boer, emergency management coordinator in Red Deer calls Garry a “beacon of trust, honesty, and integrity.” She says, “the luckiest of us report directly to Garry during high-stress, high-demand deployments. Garry is a problem-solver, always ready to help and a kind voice at the end of a long day.”

Garry says being presented the Order was completely unexpected. With his family in attendance, Garry was awarded the Order of Red Cross Pin by Alberta Vice-President Jenn McManus, with special guests Canadian Red Cross Board of Directors member Amit Mehra and Calgary Mayor Naheed Nenshi on hand for the event.

“I am very honored and humbled by the fact that I have received it. It is much appreciated, and I am sincerely thankful and grateful for being recognized.”

Garry also thanked his Red Cross family. “The award was earned by the dedicated efforts of all the hard-working people around me, that I have had the pleasure of working for and with.”

Appointments of the Order of the Red Cross are limited to 25 Members annually.
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