Volunteer Spotlight: Michael Tripodi
Michael Tripodi is a dedicated Disaster Services volunteer who began his involvement with the Red Cross as a Health and Safety Instructor. Before he was responding to house fires and hurricanes, he was a Wilderness First Aid Basics Instructor and a Lifeguard Instructor for the Westchester County Chapter, teaching classes whenever he was home from college. He became a member of the Disaster Action Team when a friend suggested he sign up. He did and the next morning he responded to a fire in Yonkers, NY. After that, Michael says, “I got hooked on disaster services, and have not looked back.” Michael continued to volunteer wherever he was, and during his last few years in college, he was volunteering at four different chapters throughout the year.
After he returned from his deployment to Albany, NY for the 2008 Ice Storm, Michael became a Red Cross employee, working as a call instructor for his chapter in Syracuse, all the while continuing his work with the Syracuse University Red Cross Club. In 2010, he served an AmeriCorps position in Albany, NY building the Sheltering Capacity for the Northeastern NY Region. Michael’s passion for the Red Cross and disaster services has not subsided. Today, he is a Disaster Specialty Instructor, Health and Safety Instructor Trainer, member of the Mass Care leadership team, and active volunteer on the Albany County DAT team. He is also involved with preparedness presentations, youth programs, and the Exploring Humanitarian Law program.
One of his most memorable experiences in disaster services was when he was participating in the Hurricane Irene operation. He recalls everyone walking outside the chapter being tired and worn out after a long few days and seeing thirty-three ERVs pulling in announcing that the cavalry had arrived. Michael says, “It was an amazing sight; it still brings tears to my eyes.”
Michael is an exemplary volunteer, and even when he is not at the chapter, the Red Cross is still on his mind. He enjoys collecting Red Cross memorabilia in his free time and has various items, such as books, posters, and pins. Other hobbies include hiking and photography. Currently, he is an assistant scoutmaster for the Boy Scouts and the Aquatics Director for the Capital District YMCA at the Albany Branch.