A Vernon Red Cross volunteer is receiving the organization’s highest honour.
Cor Zandbergen will be presented with the Order of Red Cross Tuesday in Kelowna.
Zandbergen has dedicated 16 years to serving the Red Cross, helping thousands of people impacted by disasters in Canada and around the world.
“This is quite an honour,” said Zandbergen, 65, who spent 35 years as a paramedic with the B.C. Ambulance Service. “Being recognized for all the work I’ve done would not be possible without the support of all the volunteers and staff.”
Zandbergen has responded to countless disasters including flooding, fires and ice storms across Canada, and he currently leads the Red Cross North Okanagan Personal Disaster Assistance Team, ensuring emergency social services are available to people living across a land base of more than 7,800 square kilometres.
His international work has taken him to flood-ravaged parts of Pakistan, as well as New Jersey and Louisiana after major hurricanes.
“A personal friend of the family was a regional manager with the Red Cross, I was talking about retiring and he said I would be interested in volunteer work with the organization. He was quite correct,” said Zandbergen on his roots within the Red Cross. “The nature of the work interested me and the Red Cross Society organization fit in with my beliefs.”
Zandbergen continues to play a key role mentoring new leaders in the Red Cross Disaster Management team.
Canadian Red Cross board member Gene Durnin and vice-president for B.C. and Yukon Kimberley Nemrava were scheduled to present Zandbergen with the honour.