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Local Red Cross volunteers helping Kentucky flood victims

Local Red Cross volunteers helping Kentucky flood victims
Local Red Cross volunteers helping Kentucky flood victims 02:12

PHILADELPHIA (CBS) -- Local Red Cross volunteers are in Kentucky where floodwaters ravaged the eastern part of the state.

CBS3 spoke to a truly selfless young man from Willow Grove on Tuesday evening. William Dobnak started volunteering with the Red Cross nearly five years ago in September of 2017. He's wrapping up his latest assignment, spending nine long, 12-hour days in Kentucky, helping victims of the flooding there.

Dobnak has served as an integrated care and condolence team member while in Kentucky.

"We also work with and provide a small donation to the family for fatality-related assistance they can use for anything that they need to help plan the end-of-life services for their loved ones that they've lost," Dobnak said.

At the time Dobnak spoke with CBS3, 37 people had lost their lives due to the flooding, and that directly impacts what he's been doing.

"I am working with the local coroners here and I am making sure that we have an accurate count of the number of fatalities," Dobnak said.

Dealing day-in and day-out with grieving families is as difficult and as trying as it sounds, especially since Dobnak isn't from Kentucky and literally cannot relate to the loss the families he's helping have experienced.

"I just try and show them that the American people are here for them," he said.

He gets back all that he gives.

"It gives me a really rewarding sense of self that I'm able to help people and be that kind of voice of calm in their worst moments," Dobnak said.

Ahead of his return home to the Delaware Valley later this week, he wants all of us to know this.

"As you saw last year with Hurricane Ida that swept through Philadelphia, we are not immune to floods. We are not immune to disasters. It can happen anywhere at any time," Dobnak siad.

Dobnak also wants to share that house fires are the primary disaster, for lack of a better term, in the Delaware Valley. He says to check your smoke detector batteries and to make sure you have an escape plan.

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