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Red Cross closing Roswell office

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The American Red Cross will close its Roswell office at 2708 N. Main at the end of the month but will maintain its network of volunteers to continue to provide services in the area.

The Red Cross has had an office in Roswell for more than 20 years but has not had a paid staff member here in about two years, Kathy Segura, executive director of the New Mexico chapter in Albuquerque, said.

A press release from the New Mexico Chapter of the Red Cross said the office was not an efficient use of funds for the community.

“We found that our leadership volunteers in the area were really keeping up on what needed to be done and the clients that needed to be helped, so there really was no need for staff there,” Segura said Monday.

“We kept it open for so long in case our clients or community partners really felt most comfortable coming to the office, but then we realized that our clients and frankly, most of our community partners preferred that we go to them,” she said.

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Those community partners include city officials like the mayor, police and fire department chiefs, the city-county emergency manager or businesses.

Emergency services for those who have been through a disaster and volunteer services are the among the biggest services the organization offers here, Segura said.

“Most of the disasters that we respond to are home fires and now that we’re coming up on monsoon season, flooding,” she said.

The office is too small for training classes, so those have already been taking place in other locations.

“We’re always training the volunteers that we already have and frankly, those volunteers are spread throughout Roswell, Artesia and the whole area in the southeast part of the state,” she said.

Like many other organizations that depend on volunteers, the Red Cross has changed its training methods since the pandemic started.

“Since COVID hit, we’ve really spread our wings into online teaching as well. We’re going to be incorporating both in-person and online teaching a lot more in the coming year,” she said.

Red Cross volunteers respond to local emergencies but can also become national volunteers and be deployed to other parts of the country to respond to disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or mudslides, Segura said.

City/RISD reporter Juno Ogle can be reached at 575-622-7710, ext. 205, or reporter04@rdrnews.com.

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