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  • Writer's pictureNEIA Red Cross

“Above and beyond the call of duty”

Randall Hair, a Greenfield, Iowa resident for decades, had just returned home from the hospital for a fractured ankle when an EF4 tornado barreled through Greenfield on May 21. In just a matter of minutes, the tornado destroyed homes throughout the small community, including Hair’s.

Randall Hair, Greenfield resident, visits with Red Cross worker Emily Holley while staying at the Red Cross Resource Center.

“I just got to the basement, which isn’t any fun with a boot on you,” Hair recounted. “I kind of slid on my rear end and hung on to the railing. As soon as I hit the bottom of the stairs, I had my phone and my wallet, and all of a sudden BOOM. All I could grab is my phone.”

Hair made it to his basement in time and only sustained minor injuries.

“I remember flying through the air upside down, from one side of the basement to the other,” Hair described. “I was trying to get to the bathroom down there to grab hold of the toilet, but there wasn’t any toilet, and then I blacked out after hitting my head.”

Red Cross worker Emily Holley shares a smile while visiting with Randall Hair in the Red Cross Resource Center in Greenfield.

Hair regained consciousness amongst the rubble of his home of 40 years. He was rescued and sent to an area hospital to be treated for his injuries. Upon his release from the hospital, Hair landed at the Red Cross Resource Center in Greenfield, where sheltering was being offered. Red Cross volunteers, one being a registered nurse, cared for him. The team of Red Cross volunteers created a comfortable place where Hair could feel safe to process the trauma he’d just experienced.

“Above and beyond the call of duty,” Hair said when talking about the Red Cross volunteers who cared for him. “Yeah, they’re great. The best bunch of people I’ve ever been around. Helpful, caring.”

Randall Hair settles in to his new home with the help of the Red Cross and American Legion.

The dedicated team of Red Cross volunteers worked to find Hair a safe apartment he could call home as he continues to navigate the recovery process.

When Hair’s moving day came, Red Cross volunteers worked with the local American Legion to disassemble his hospital bed and transport it from the Red Cross Resource Center to his new home. Red Cross Disaster Recovery caseworkers will regularly follow up with Hair in the weeks to come to support his recovery journey.

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