Helping people in need at any time of day

Topics: Saskatchewan
Moses Chibaya | August 14, 2023

A Saskatchewan man is determined to help people affected by disasters across the province by answering his phone anytime of the day.

“I received a call at 2:30 a.m. The caller needed assistance,” said Steve Patton a Canadian Red Cross volunteer duty officer.

A building was on fire and its occupants were reaching out to the Red Cross for assistance. 
Steve was responding to a call on the Red Cross 24/7 emergency assistance line. Operating throughout the province of Saskatchewan, this service helps to provide immediate help to people who have been affected by a small-scale disaster such as a home fire.

The number of people needing help related to this fire surpassed the normal limit of 25 that a duty officer can assist. Steve escalated the incident to the secondary duty officer.

“It became a large situation. At least 47 people needed assistance,” Steve said.

“There were a lot of calls,” said Steve, “I was talking to people that were in crisis and I needed to be aware of their situation and aware of the Red Cross mandate.”

Steve has helped many affected people since he started with the Red Cross. He said it is not an easy role. Fortunately, helping people and seeing them receive assistance from the Red Cross fuels Steve’s energy to keep on doing his best to help people in situations.

“You gain some sense of accomplishment, you helped somebody that was in crisis,” said Steve. “I can’t say you feel good about it, but you feel like you have done something to help somebody.”

He takes enormous “pride in his work”, and his own passion for the work is undimmed.

These efforts by Canadian Red Cross team members such as Steve have a major impact across Canada and beyond. In Saskatchewan in 2022, the Canadian Red Cross assisted 1,584 individuals, in 56 communities.

Steve hailed his wife whom he said is “very understanding” and supports him whenever he is in action.
Steve credited Red Cross training which he received at the start.

He is now providing services and information well beyond what he could have before, he said. The education does not stop there, however.

“You learn on the job. It's like you are learning all the time. You learn a lot in a short period of time.”
To find out how to volunteer like Steve, go to
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