The American Red Cross is proud to be featured in SULLY, the newly released film featuring the “Miracle on the Hudson” and the aftermath experienced by hero pilot Captain Chelsley “Sully” Sullenberger.
Included in the movie are nearly a dozen Red Cross volunteers and employees who serve as extras after serving a real-life role in the Red Cross response effort more than six and half years ago.
Among those who helped reenact the response was Chris Mercado, a volunteer who helped hand out blankets to survivors. Watch Mercado’s interview.
“I think that was one of the most important aspects of our relief efforts,” said Mercado. “It shows how quickly the Red Cross responded, how involved we were and how the shoot stayed true to the services we rendered that day.”
Volunteer, Sally Phipps, joined the Red Cross after seeing the organization’s response to the Flight 800 crash in 1996. Since volunteering, she had responded to two previous plane crashes both with tragic loss of life.
“I went into this response thinking the results were going to be the same as the other two plane crashes,” said Phipps. “To go and see passengers get off the ferry safely was amazing!”
Phipps oversaw the passenger area for the Red Cross at the Piers and shared how a man called more than a week after the response to express his gratitude to Phipps for lending his wife her personal cell phone to let him know she was safe. Watch Phipps’ interview.
“It was an extraordinary testament to what the Red Cross does for people during some of their hardest times,” said Phipps.
Red Cross volunteer Dottie Brier recalls responding to a hotel in Queens where passengers and crew members were being taken. There her role was providing disaster mental health care to help people cope with their reactions to the devastating situation. She says working on the film brought mixed emotions.
“It was unbelievable that everyone had survived,” said Brier. “I remember being shocked.”
“We spent the whole day there in the pouring rain re-doing the scenes over and over again. We’d take Red Cross blankets, run up to the people coming off the rescue boats, walk them through the pier and then fold the blankets to start again,” says Brier. “It was interesting to see how much goes into filming a movie. It was hard work!”