Red Cross lays off Nevada County staff |

Red Cross lays off Nevada County staff

The two people who ran the local office of the American Red Cross will be laid off after today, and a half-time person will be hired to carry on the leadership of the office, branch manager Susan King said Wednesday.

Nationwide, the Red Cross has been suffering from a decline in donations, leading to cuts all over the country, King said. Last week, the Three Rivers Chapter in Yuba City announced the western Nevada County branch would move to a rent-free space in Nevada City to save money.

King, a full-time employee, and Ned Russell, the half-time paid volunteer services coordinator and emergency services coordinator, both were laid off.

“It was a business decision that had to be made,” King said. “We have to make sure there are funds available for disasters.”

Reserves at the Three Rivers Chapter had dipped too low under national guidelines, leading to the cost-cutting measures, Russell said. Similar cutbacks also are being made at the chapter’s branch office in Butte County, King said.

The new person will maintain the Red Cross’ fundraising activities and be a presence in the community, coordinate volunteers in those efforts, coordinate disaster response and help set up health and safety classes, Russell said. The person will work out of the Experience Works office on New Mohawk Road.

The new leader’s role will be less hands-on, and activities will fall more on the shoulders of volunteers, Russell said.

Office hours will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It was unclear what would be any future role of a part-time receptionist that Experience Works had been providing to the Red Cross office.

“The Red Cross will always be here,” King said, but she added, “It won’t be the same. It can’t be.”

King said she will take a planned vacation and look for a new job when she returns. Russell said he would take the summer off and may return to do some volunteering in the fall.


To contact City Editor Trina Kleist, e-mail or call 477-4230.

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