On Sunday, July 29, 2019, a tragic mass casualty event occurred at about 5:30 PM, in the closing hours of the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Shortly after midnight that evening, the City of Gilroy Fire Department and Emergency Operations Center (EOC) formally requested American Red Cross support for a city shelter providing refuge for people who were not able to retrieve their personal belongings, vehicles and or identification. The Red Cross opened a shelter at Christopher High School in Gilroy and operated that shelter until Thursday, August 1 during which time Red Cross volunteers and community partners provided health, mental health, feeding and recovery planning services.
Santa Clara County asked the Red Cross to support a Family Assistance Center (FAC) at Rucker Elementary School in Gilroy starting Monday, July 30, 2019. Red Cross provided disaster health services, disaster mental health, caseworkers, feeding, and logistical support to the facility while it was opened. The Red Cross also arranged child-care services at the FAC in partnership with Children’s Disaster Services.
The Santa Clara County District Attorney’s Victim Services Department and the FBI’s Victim Services Unit managed the center and provided support to those affected by the Disaster.
The Red Cross is still supporting the Disaster Relief Operation which has evolved into the Recovery Phase. Assistance is continuing for people who lost family members or who were injured or otherwise adversely affected when they fled from the scene of the shooting.
The Red Cross effort was truly part of a team effort with key partners including the Santa Clara County District Attorney, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the City of Gilroy, the City of Gilroy Unified School District, Morgan Hill Emergency Manager and Children’s Disaster Services.
To learn more about Red Cross services in the Northern California Coastal Region, please visit www.redcross.org/norcalcoastal.