Thursday, January 20, 2011
There simply aren’t the right words to describe a volunteer like Jerry English. But if you were to ask his fellow volunteers or fellow emergency responders, they would all say that Jerry is the most dedicated volunteer they’ve ever met; that he is a friend, mentor, leader, comedian and most importantly, a true humanitarian. And they wouldn’t be exaggerating.
If you’ve suffered because of a house fire in Ellis County, Texas over the past 33 years, no doubt Jerry English showed up on your curb and made sure your family was safe. He’s the guy who handed a hot cup of coffee or a cold drink to a worn out firefighter. If you had to call the Red Cross in Ellis County to get an emergency message to a member of the military in the past 33 years, odds are Jerry English was the volunteer who made sure that your emergency communication got to its destination. If you or your children learned about the Red Cross at school, Jerry English was the volunteer providing the lesson.
On top of his incredible career in the local Ellis County area, Jerry also honorably served on nearly 50 national disaster relief operations outside of his community. He’s been to hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, wildfires and other calamities in Florida, Nevada, Arkansas, Oklahoma, New Jersey, New Mexico, Virginia, Kansas, Kentucky, California and all across the great state of Texas.
“Losing a volunteer like Jerry English will have an impact on our local community and on the nation”, said Shelly Campbell, branch manager, American Red Cross, Ellis/Navarro counties. “He trained every one of us who are here today, including me. We’ve been partners for nine years. He taught me about true compassion, usually on the curb of a house fire at 2:00 in the morning!”
Local emergency workers will miss Jerry English too. Fire Chief David Hudgins, City of Waxahachie, has known Jerry for more than 20 years. “Like almost all members of the fire service, I met Jerry for the first time at a house fire,” said Hudgins. “It’s a big shock to a family to have a house fire, but Jerry was always there to start putting things back together. It takes a special person to get out of bed in the middle of the night to help someone, or to feed us at a scene. And Jerry never did it for recognition. He didn’t get his picture in the paper or get recognized as an individual. He was perfectly happy being known as “Mr. Red Cross”, which is what we all called him. We’ll really miss him.”
A community celebration of Jerry’s distinguished Red Cross career will be held on Thursday, January 20, 2011. Anyone who would like to extend their well-wishes can stop by The Ranch Coffee House at the Rogers Hotel, 100 North College Street in Waxahachie, Texas between 4:00p.m. and 7:00p.m. Special remarks from Shelly Campbell, Chief Hudgins, Cheryl Sutterfield-Jones, chief executive officer, American Red Cross and other friends and fellow volunteers will occur at 6:00p.m.
On behalf of our entire global Red Cross movement, the American Red Cross salutes Jerry English.