Connecticut Red Cross volunteers lend helping hand to California wildfire victims


In less than 12 hours, Joe Apicelli will board a plane for California.

The veteran Red Cross worker lives along the shoreline and has responded to 43 missions from hurricanes, to floods to forest fires.

He just returned from down south, helping people in the hurricane areas. He boards the plane Saturday morning for California and says this will be a tough one.

“This is a chaotic scene. The fire came very rapidly unlike some of the storms we’ve had a chance to respond to a little bit with some time.”

Joe has been responding to disasters for the Red Cross since 2005. He knows firsthand what wildfires are like, there’s some of the worst natural disasters around.

“Most of the clients I will have an opportunity to serve will have very little, they have walked out the door with what they have on their feet what they have on their back, they will get into the car in evacuate like that should.”

He was deployed to Santa Rosa last year at this time for those deadly forest fires.

“I saw some things that really changed my view of fires, get out! When they tell you to evacuate it’s time to go yeah better go! Because there’s no turning back from that.”

And the Red Cross need all the volunteers they can get. Joe walked into the Red Cross office in 2005 as Hurricane Katrina was going on. Three days later he was volunteering at Ground Zero for that storm.

If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, you can click here for more information.

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