Helping others more than a side cause for local Red Cross team captain

Published 12:00 am Saturday, August 20, 2011

By Baileigh Rebowe


LAPLACE – Frank Dickson is a highly skilled man.

He’s been in the military, worked on ships, installed vending machines and currently owns an electric company.

His arsenal of skills has helped him succeed throughout his life, but Dickson said it’s his heart, not his hands, that define the man he is.

Dickson is also the Southeast Disaster Assessment Team captain for the New Orleans Red Cross.

His duty on a daily basis? To assist those in need.

“I enjoy helping people,” said Dickson. “It’s rewarding for me to give to someone. Through the power of the Red Cross I can do things for other people.”

Dickson and his team provide food, shelter, clothing and water to the victims of fires, tornadoes, floods and other disasters.

If a train derails, Dickson and his team respond, making sure the firefighters working on the track have enough to eat.

Dickson said the job is not 9-to-5 like most jobs.

“This job is 24/7,” said Dickson. “My phone is always on.”

Material items are not the only resources provided to victims by the Red Cross. Dickson has had to perform CPR numerous times. All the members of the Red Cross must be certified.

“It was our fourth year working at the Andouille Festival, and someone had a heart attack at the end of the festival,” said Dickson. “I had to initiate CPR right then.”

The captain said he got his passion for people from his grandmother, who was “the mother of Norco.”

“She cared for people and animals her whole life,” said Dickson. “She never had money to give, but the love she had, she gave away. I mimic my grandmother.”

Dickson raised $15,000 by himself after Hurricane Katrina hit to donate to Red Cross. According to him, the rest is history.

Dickson resides in St. John the Baptist Parish and has been married for 20 years with six children. He doesn’t plan on stopping his service to the community anytime soon.

“People ask me all the time, ‘How you make a living, Frank?’” said Dickson. “I tell them, ‘I bless someone, and God blesses me.’ I don’t have a problem with that.”