DETROIT (WWJ) – They’re the second busiest Red Cross Disaster Relief Team in the country — and their 74-year-old fearless leader isn’t showing any signs of slowing down.

WWJ’s Kathryn Larson had a chance to ride along with the Metro Detroit man known as “Mr. Red Cross” and find out what it’s like to live each day on the frontline.

“You know that you’re there to help somebody and when you look in the mirror in the morning or the evening after you’ve done that, and you see what you’ve done, it’s pretty easy to make that decision that this is what I want to do,” said Bob York.

Six years ago, the 74-year-old retired from the engineering sector and shifted into a search for purpose. So, York signed up for an unpaid, 24-7 on call, full-time position — one with action, adventure and a rare glimpse of something most people can only imagine: The true meaning of kindness.

“Being the second busiest fire chapter in the United States kind of identifies what we do,” he said.

York said the Red Cross is always prepared, but the need never ends.

“I don’t think that’s wrong to cry but I do get tears in my eyes, and you have to be able to wipe those away and dry yourself up because there’s going to be another call right after it,” he said.

To learn ways you can help the American Red Cross, visit

  1. C.C. says:

    Great Red Cross video. A wonderful service to the community. I will continue to donate to the Red Cross S.E. Mich. Chapter to help the Detroit area victims of house fires. Thank you Red Cross.

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