Barb Thompson awarded the Order of Red Cross

Topics: Saskatchewan, Emergencies and Disasters in Canada, Volunteer
Candace Lamb | November 17, 2021

woman's smiling faceOn Nov. 16, 2021, Barb Thompson’s contributions and dedication to the Canadian Red Cross were recognized as she was inducted into the Order of Red Cross at a virtual ceremony. This award recognizes extraordinary people who have provided outstanding humanitarian service for the organization at home and abroad and is the organization’s highest honour.

When it comes to responding to disasters, Barb literally wrote the book for the Red Cross. She organized the process and then trained hundreds of volunteers and staff. If you live in Western Canada and have been affected by a major disaster, Barb has likely supported you, and everyone else affected, providing much needed relief.

“Her level-head, calm attitude and willingness to jump in and help anytime and anywhere speaks to her reliability. Everyone knows that when Barb is volunteering, everything will work out,” said Cindy Fuchs, former vice president of the Red Cross in Saskatchewan.

In the last 26 years Barb has served in numerous emergency management positions including leadership and mentorship roles, as well as a senior facilitator for Red Cross training and development.

“Barb’s willingness to help anytime and act as a mentor to many of our personnel has been a huge asset to the Red Cross team in Saskatchewan,” said Kim MacLean, senior director of emergency operations for the Canadian Red Cross. “I know I have benefited from that experience as we have navigated and evolved emergency management within the Society over the past twenty-five years.”

Barb has been instrumental in developing and delivering training courses for emergency management operations at local, regional, provincial and national levels of the Canadian Red Cross. “Barb recognized the importance of providing tools, resources, and experience to others so Red Cross could best serve its clients,” said Debra Peterson, volunteer resources specialist for the Canadian Red Cross “She saw that the best way to do this was through training and mentoring and she put many tireless hours into helping build courses to better equip staff and volunteers.”

Barb is a trusted mentor. She quietly does whatever she can to help and encourage others in their roles. “Barb always seems to know the perfect time to step back and let others do their part in helping to make things work better,” said Sandra MacArthur, fellow volunteer and Order of Red Cross member. “She did so much to help me learn to be a better volunteer, site manager, and facilitator.”  

Annual appointment of the Order of Red Cross is limited to 25 members and only has 350 total members. This year, two volunteers from Saskatchewan received this honour: Barb Thompson and Doug Reid.
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