By Rana Sidani Cassou
More than 300 Lebanese Red Cross volunteers and staff have been working round the clock to protect people from the rain and snow of Storm Norma, performing nearly 600 rescue missions – and delivering two beautiful, healthy babies inside ambulances.
The Red Cross rescue missions have taken place all over Lebanon and have included emergency response support following 49 road accidents with one CPR.
Volunteers transported seven pregnant women to hospitals to deliver their babies, one of whom – a baby girl – was in such a hurry to see the world that volunteers had to deliver her inside the ambulance. A second baby, a boy, was born in another Red Cross ambulance on 9 January.
The National Society has deployed more than 45 ambulances to take patients to hospital for treatment for heart attacks, dialysis, and other emergency cases, and has also also evacuated more than 700 Syrian refugees from five flooded camps, bringing them to safety and providing relief supplies. Lebanese Red Cross blood centres have also distributed around 100 units of blood to hospitals in need.
With a further 200 trained volunteers on standby, the Lebanese Red Cross is ready to scale up the response should the storm intensify. People are advised to stay inside their houses and call 140 in case they need help.