Nice to Meet You: Chris Collins
Chris Collins plays a crucial role within the Nebraska-Iowa Region as a Fleet and Facilities Coordinator. His work to ensure that buildings and vehicles are safe and ready to be utilized at a moment's notice impacts all of us.
Q: What does your title mean?
A: My title as Fleet and Facilities Coordinator means to me that I am responsible for managing the maintenance and repairs to my assigned fleet vehicles. I work to keep them clean and ready for use by staff. For the facilities, I oversee and am responsible for making sure the buildings stay in working order. I ensure preventative maintenance is done in order to avoid costly repairs in the future.
Q: How long have you been with the Red Cross?
A: I have been with the Red Cross for almost three years.
Q: What do you like most about your job?
A: What I enjoy most is getting to work with my hands and getting to manage projects within the facilities. I also really love the flexibility of my position to work around appointments and other family things.
Q: What do you listen to during the workday?
A: I usually listen to my playlist on Amazon Music, or I just enjoy the peace and silence.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t working?
A: I am usually spending time with my family, working on projects for other people, or depending on the time of the year, I am out hunting, fishing, playing golf or enjoying watching the Packers play.
Q: What is your favorite thing about where you live?
A: I love the water and grew up on the Mississippi River. The river and small-town feel in a smaller city just feels like home.
Q: What has most surprised you while working with the Red Cross?
A: I have had a few surprises, but I think a big one is the amount of impact the Red Cross has on lives. From those impacted by disasters, to volunteers, to employees, the Red Cross plays an important part for everyone involved.
Q: What is a Red Cross moment that has stuck with you?
A: My position/role in the organization keeps me very focused on the constant work of keeping a fleet and several facilities always operating. I haven’t had the opportunities to interact with the public or be on the front lines, so my moments all revolve around what happens with the fleet and the buildings. Unfortunately, the moments I tend to remember though are when something breaks, or an accident occurs. When things are running normal, and everything is operating as it should then it's just a normal day, nothing special. But when a problem/accident happens like when the derecho hit Eastern Iowa, I knew that I needed to be here to keep the power on in the building and keep the fleet ready so it could be mobile and ready to support. Or during a break-in and assisting the local police to search the building because I know the safety of the staff is extremely important. This is my role within the organization, and I pride myself on being ready for those moments when things go wrong.
Q: What do you wish people knew about working at the Red Cross?
A: People ask me all the time if I work with disasters or if I take blood. I try to explain to them that the Red Cross has SO much more than just those two things. Those may be the two things the public think we do, but there is so much more to our organization. We have so many lines of service and none of us can function without the help of another, which is why a one Red Cross is so important for all our lines of service. We can all make each other better.