Scenes and stories from a small town in the hills of Italy's Le Marche region

Croce Gialla and Camerano: Here for Each Other
By Cassie Echer
July 2006

CAMERANO, Italy --
Camerano is more than a dot on a map.  It is a community full of people, all shapes and sizes, all different ages.  And each person comes with a variety of needs. 

yellow cross volunteers outside headquarters
picture of yellow cross members sitting in ambulance

When an older man has a therapy appointment, the Croce Gialla, or Yellow Cross, is there to transport him, notes Enrico Guerrier, its president in Camerano.  When an accident occurs, the Croce Gialla is always the first to respond at the scene.  If a tourist were to faint on the beach from heat exhaustion, the Croce Gialla would come to the rescue. 

And all of this is possible through the sacrifices made both by the volunteers and professionals involved in the Croce Gialla.     
Guerrier has been the president of Camerano’s Croce Gialla since 2002. He started with the organization as a volunteer in 1980, when the local branch was founded and he was working for the railway. As president, he remains a volunteer.

Camerano’s Croce Gialla was born out of a serious tractor accident that took place in 1972.  At the time, the closest local medical emergency response team, a Croce Gialla affiliate, was in the city of Ancona, about 8.5 miles away.  On this fateful day, rescue teams took about an hour to arrive on the scene, and some people in Camerano decided they needed to create their own medical team that could respond more quickly.  They organized a local Croce Gialla affiliate, which was officially  recognized in 1980.

The local organization has grown to more than 200 volunteers today and provides services 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Camerano’s Croce Gialla employs five professionals and also works with nearby doctors and hospitals.  It is affiliated with the Associazione Nationale Pubbliche Assistenze (ANPAS) , which is connected to other public service organizations but is not a part of the international Red Cross movement although their work is similar.  As Guerrier puts it, “the common element is the presence of volunteers.” 

Two volunteers on their way to assist with an accident.
The Yellow Cross is on the scene.

The volunteers, he says, feel something within themselves to choose to make significant personal sacrifices to help the community.  He views the calling to be a part of the Croce Gialla as a sense of vocation and the recognition of a love one has for others.

The job is not always easy.  At any moment, whether through a rescue or facing a disease, the volunteers and staff of the Croce Gialla may be put in danger. According to Andrea Luciani, a staff driver and rescuer, “When you have to save someone’s life, it’s always a challenge.”  But facing these challenges does not discourage his love for the job.  Both he and the Croce Gialla will continue to work hard and make personal sacrifices to be able to serve Camerano with a big heart and a helping hand.


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