The American Red Cross located in the Retired Activities Center here has started taking crisis and emergency situations on Fridays that the Airman & Family Readiness Center would normally handle.
As a result of sequestration, the A&FRC is slated to be closed every Friday from July 12 through Sept. 20 for mandatory furlough days.
The Air Force has mandated that civilians take one unpaid furlough day weekly for 11 weeks. Some DM offices that are predominantly civilian staffed, like the A&FRC, will be closed on Fridays to meet this mandate.
“We looked at all the options and decided instead of limiting customer service through the week, we can limit one day and give full customer service for rest of the week,” said Heidi Meisterling, 355th Force Support Squadron A&FRC director.
The Red Cross will assess the situations presented to them and decide if they are true crisis. If it is an emergency that can’t wait, they will use their available resources to help the customer. If they don’t find the situation is a true emergency, the request will be postponed till the following Monday when the A&FRC reopens.
“We encourage everyone to call and make appointments,” Meisterling said. “There has been a heavier customer load coming through, so we can’t do many walk-ins. If you want a guarantee to be seen, call ahead.”
The Red Cross can be reached at 228-7202 or 228-7205 during duty hours on Friday, or after duty hours at 1-877-272-7337 or 520-275-7633.
Those in need of assistance on Friday are encouraged to call the Red Cross before going over to their office.