Answering the Call — One Nurse’s Journey to Care for Others

By Cindy Huge, Public Affairs Volunteer

For nurses, it is simply in their nature to help others during their greatest need. For Louise Kolar, RN, of the Kern County & Eastern Sierra Chapter, she has touched thousands of lives through her work as a nurse and Red Cross volunteer.

After a family experienced a home fire, Louise waited alongside a worried mother at a local hospital where her son was receiving critical care in the burn unit. Had it not been for her extreme kindness and compassion, this mother would have been alone until family could arrive later in the day.

Because that’s just what nurses do.

Louise has been an active volunteer for many years. She has brought her talents to a number of leadership positions that include serving as a Disaster Health Services manager; Advanced Instructor, where she has taught numerous Red Crossers and government employees, Disaster Action Team supervisor; territory coordinator for Disaster Health Services; as well as a member of her chapter’s Leadership Committee. Because of her expertise, you will find her on many national and divisional work groups to advance the mission of the Red Cross.

Louise is also a member of the Central California Region’s Integrated Care and Condolence Team, a specialized group of Red Cross volunteers consisting of nurses, mental health professionals, faith leaders and experienced case managers that meet with families who have experienced significant trauma due to home fires and other disasters.

Over the past several years she has met with many families during some of the most difficult tragedies our country has faced including the Las Vegas shooting, Asiana airline crash, Santa Barbara boat fire, and Montecito debris flow.

Louise has also deployed to large natural disasters throughout the entire country including wildfires and hurricanes. It was during July 2019 when she was on vacation with her family that she got the call about the Ridgecrest earthquakes in eastern Kern County. Answering the call once again, Louise immediately left her family vacation and drove straight to Ridgecrest to work alongside her fellow nurses to ensure those affected were cared for.

Because that’s just what nurses do.

May 6-12 is National Nurses Week, and the American Red Cross is pleased to highlight the vital role our nurses play in helping to achieve our humanitarian mission.

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