Effective Sept. 1, the Butler-Mercer County Chapter of the American Red Cross will merge with the American Red Cross of Beaver and Lawrence counties to form the American Red Cross West Central Pennsylvania Chapter.
Amid a slumping economy and increasing costs, Red Cross chapters across the country are consolidating to streamline operations and reduce overhead costs while increasing programming and disaster-response capacity by sharing resources, according to a Red Cross news release.
Executive Director Scott Snyder of the Butler-Mercer counties chapter, will manage the newly formed chapter. A Butler native, Snyder has worked with the Red Cross in prominent roles for 14 years, including time with the Red Cross 9/11 Recovery Program, the statement said.
The chapter also will work closely with other chapters throughout the 13-county Southwestern Pennsylvania Region to share resources and improve the local disaster-response capacity while consolidating back office functions.
In an effort to increase training opportunities in communities throughout the country, the Red Cross also has redesigned its preparedness, health and safety programs, including first aid and CPR classes.
The Red Cross chapters will no longer manage these programs. Instead the Red Cross will coordinate them as a devoted, nationally-networked operation focused exclusively on increasing the number of people who learn lifesaving skills in all communities, the statement said.
The lifesaving courses will include technologically-advanced features such as standardized online course search and registration, digital course materials and free online refreshers. Successful completion of the classes will result in two-year certifications, which replace the previous one-year certification.
The changes to the chapter will be implemented in phases, the Red Cross said. During the transition, there will be no interruption to services.
The American Red Cross Westmoreland-Chestnut Ridge Chapter will merge with the Armstrong County Chapter. Similar streamlining of back office functions and resource sharing will occur at the Indiana County Chapter, Keystone Chapter and Southwestern Pennsylvania Chapter, the statement said.
For more information, visit ButlerRedCross.org.