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V.I., RED CROSS SIGN COOPERATION AGREEMENT

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June 28, 2001 – The V.I. government and the American Red Cross formally entered into an agreement Wednesday to work together on disaster planning, preparedness, relief and mitigation efforts in the territory.
Gov. Charles W. Turnbull and John Clizbe, American Red Cross national vice president for disaster services, signed the agreement in a brief ceremony at Government House on St. Thomas.
The statement provides for cooperation and coordination between the local government and the Red Cross, nationally and locally. It calls for joint advocacy of disaster mitigation programs and legislation. Specifically, it calls for each entity to include representatives of the other on its committees and task forces addressing disaster and emergency needs and resources.
The V.I. government pledges to abide by the Disaster Service Leave Act, which authorizes public employees who are Red Cross volunteers to take up to 20 days annually to respond to disasters and to undergo training.
Other officials present at the ceremony included Adj. Gen. Cleave A McBean of the V.I. National Guard, who also is the executive director of the V.I. Territorial Emergency Management Agency; Herald Baker, VITEMA director; Warner Bowers, who chairs the board of the St. Thomas/St. John chapter of the Red Cross; and Frankie Hoheb, disaster specialist with the chapter.

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