Frontline Disaster Experience

On December 26, 2004 a magnitude 9.0 subduction earthquake occurred off the west coast of the Indonesian island of Sumatra. Within minutes a tsunami - actually a series of waves - roared across the Indian Ocean to reek havoc up to 2500 kilometers away.  Within hours some 240,000 people would die from the tsunami.
 
The town of Banda Aceh was located on the alluvial plain at the northern tip of the Island of Sumatra. Within 20 minutes of the quake the first wave struck the town with an estimated height of 80 feet, followed by many more waves. Ninety percent of the town was swept away. 
 
 
Within days, Russ Froese was on a plane headed for Banda Aceh, contracted by the Canadian Red Cross to act as the Communications Director for the organization for their relief and recovery efforts. Russ spent 4 months working in the chaotic aftermath of the disaster before returning home to South Surrey.
 

Russ Froese is an experienced communications consultant and award-winning journalist with thirty-four years experience in public and private broadcasting. His assignments have taken him to 20 different countries. He has also anchored major newscasts for GlobalTV, CBC, and City tv. 

For the last ten years, he has worked as a communications consultant and crisis communications specialist for some of the leading public relations agencies in western Canada. 

For the last twelve years, Russ has also been heavily involved with Canadian Red Cross. He is a Communications Delegate who has completed missions in Banda Aceh Indonesia. As a volunteer, he is B.C. Team lead for the Detention Monitoring Program, has helped teach international humanitarian law to journalism students, and as a member of the B.C. Red Cross Disaster Response Centre Campaign Committee, he helped to raise the three million dollars needed to upgrade the Burnaby facility.