Thursday, September 11, 2003

Carl Biery, Cincinnati Area Red Cross


When disaster hits, he responds

By Robert Anglen
The Cincinnati Enquirer

The fire sparked on a snowy night 34 years ago.

Carl Biery had no connection to the house or the people inside. But watching the fiery scene, he became aware that a rescue effort was under way. Not to save the house - that was up to firefighters. But to help the people find shelter, food, clothes.

That, the accountant decided, he could do.

Since 1969, Biery has been at the scene of floods, plane crashes and fires as a volunteer disaster relief worker for the Cincinnati Area American Red Cross. He was at the 1977 Beverly Hills Supper Club fire, where 165 died. And he worked in the morgue after the 1988 Carrollton, Ky., bus crash, helping parents identify the remains of children.

And he has done it all without pay.

"Any kind of disaster, we go. But approximately 90 percent of what we go to are fires," Biery said.

A relief-team leader, he shies away from praise, saying he works with great people.

Now 57, he's retired. But he recalls going to work and trying to stay awake after helping at a fire all night. And he still misses out on family outings and often rushes past home-cooked meals.

"The phone could beep right now and they'd be telling me to go to a fire," he said, adding that his wife understands. "We've raised three children, and they are all members of my disaster team."

E-mail ranglen@enquirer.com




REMEMBERING 9-11
Cincinnati remembers in solemn prayers, reflective moments
Schedule of local events
Updates on today's memorials across the country
Emotional impact of 9-11 blunts as world changes
PULFER: Still grieving? Blame the media
9-11 aftermath stays with Loveland man
How Greater Cincinnati marked the first anniversary
Profiles of area victims in the 2001 attacks
3-D graphic of plans for the World Trade Center site
Photos of the attacks on the World Trade Center
Photos of the attacks on the Pentagon
Photos of Flight 73
Special multimedia coverage from Gannett News Service

SPECIAL REPORT: VOLUNTEERISM SINCE 9-11
Strong at first, volunteer spirit has waned
Here's how to get involved
Profiles of local volunteers:
16-year-old helps kids get the chance to dance
Dad impresses by going fishing
Arthritis can't keep her from job
Helping others helps heal
Math tutor gets lesson
When disaster hits, he responds
Mentors ease the teen years
Variety is the spice of giving

EDITORIALS ON 9-11
Two years later, we must not forget
Other voices on the lessons of 9/11

IN THE TRISTATE
Drug suspect a wholesaler, police say
Morgue photographer's appeal refused
Kroger gets its garage, but not before debate
Developer tells plan for mixed complex
ODOT asks $155M for I-75
City rejects $20M condo project in E. Price Hill
1-dose tumor center opens
Regional Report
West End to get new YMCA

ENQUIRER COLUMNISTS
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Howard: Good Things Happening

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Monthly Chamber lunch like honey for candidates
Wastewater requests have some crying foul
Monroe Police Chief Howard sidelined by heart problems
Oxford half-marathon already draws hundreds
Suspect arrested in day-care purse snatching
'New' Harrison celebrates arts
Other riverfest has a lot to offer
Sewer overflows spout in Warren Co.
Officials at odds over cost of renovating court center

OBITUARIES
Coach helped soccer get a start
Billie Garnett, St. Henry mainstay
Kentucky obituaries

OHIO
Woman charged in death of alleged abductor
Ohio moments

KENTUCKY
Independence ex-councilman on probation
Kentucky Briefs
Florence official who stole sued
Boone school board member running for state House seat
Illness strikes N.Ky. schools
Park's reputation undergoing change