Bailey is Red Cross volunteer of year

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    Fahy Bailey, American Red Cross Kaua‘i outstanding volunteer, holds her congratulatory proclamation from Mayor Derek Kawakami, outside the Historic County Building in Lihu‘eThursday.

  • Dennis Fujimoto / The Garden Island

    American Red Cross outstanding volunteer Fahy Bailey, second from right, juggles the accolades and premiums she receives for the honor Wednesday while, from left Kaua‘i County Councilmember Mason Chock, ARC Kaua‘i director Padraic Gallagher and American Red Cross Kaua‘i’s Larry LaSota help Bailey, outside the Historic County Building in Lihu‘e Thursday.

KILAUEA — American Red Cross volunteer Fahy Bailey has been named the ARC Kaua‘i Volunteer of the Year.

When Bailey, a retired mental-health professional, joined the ARC Kaua’i Disaster Services team nearly two years ago, she came with a specific mission in mind: to assist the disaster mental health program on Kaua‘i.

It didn’t take long for Bailey to make an impact as a volunteer, as she later became the disaster mental health lead on Kaua‘i.

Bailey achieved much in very little time by tallying a significant amount of volunteer hours.

In the past year, Bailey worked 186 hours on state activities such as assisting with the disaster action team responses, and meetings and additional training.

“She made herself available to be on-call for 720 hours this past year to guide responders through disaster responses and be on stand-by to provide disaster mental health guidance,” said Padraic Gallagher, ARC Kaua‘i director of disaster services. “She also spent 170 hours participating in relief operations locally and on the mainland.”

After the Dillingham Airfield skydiving plane accident, Fahy expanded her knowledge about integrated care and condolence teams, assisting families recovering from the loss of a family member.

Bailey worked with Gallagher to visit the impacted Kaua‘i family and provided them access to mental-health services, spiritual care and casework resources to assist with their recovery from this tragic event.

Looking to put her expertise to broader use, Bailey looked to assist with disaster mental health throughout the nation, not just the island of Kaua’i.

So Bailey expanded her reach, volunteering on the mainland during various disasters.

In August, Bailey helped Georgia brace for possible impacts from Hurricane Dorian, and also helped people evacuate from the situation.

“Fahy helped with managing mental-health workers in hurricane evacuation shelters in Georgia, and with the closing down of shelters across the state,” Gallagher said. “After Georgia’s evacuation operation closed, she transitioned to Florida to work with evacuees from the Bahamas and help them with immediate emergency assistance and mental-health support in a temporary shelter.”

Bailey continued to expand her role by becoming a disaster instructor this past year, and will also be assisting Gallagher with future training on the island.

“Fahy’s contribution to the Kaua‘i disaster program has been impactful,” Gallagher said in his written nomination. “Her managerial experience will help me be able to grow the local disaster action team and mental-health program.”

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Jason Blasco, reporter, can be reached at 245-0437 or jblasco@thegardenisland.com.

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