Red Cross Volunteers Credited with Saving Man’s Life

Performed CPR, Used AED to Save a Man at the Wayne County Fair

Farm animals. Funnel cakes. First Aid.

All are traditions of the Wayne County Fair.

The Red Cross has been providing first aid to fair goers for more than 60  years, as a service to the community.  This year, that service helped save at least one life.

A man attending the fair on Monday, September 12, suffered cardiac arrest and collapsed. Red Cross first aid workers rushed to perform CPR. They also applied a newly-acquired AED (automated external defibrillator) while awaiting the arrival of Wayne County EMS personnel.

The man survived.  “The ER staff said the Red Cross saved his life, as there was no way he would have made it if he had to wait for the squad to reach him inside the fairgrounds,” said Lara Kiefer, Executive Director of the Lake Erie/Heartland Chapter.

Captain Doug Hunter of the Wayne County Sheriff’s office also credited the Red Cross crew, in a video posted on Facebook.  Capt. Hunter said, ” I want to recognize the life-saving efforts of the representatives of the Wayne County Red Cross.” He continued,
“They frantically started doing what they are trained to do and tried to revive this man.”  He went on to describe the use of the AED.  “It was not looking good folks. I had pretty much written this man off as not going to survive, but they kept going.”

Captain Hunter also credits a nurse from the Wooster Community Hospital for assisting.

“It was truly a remarkable moment,” Captain Hunter said, in describing the moment the man first showed signs of life. “The people from the Red Cross at the Wayne County Fairgrounds saved this man’s life.”

Most first aid requests involve far less serious ailments, but the service provided by the Red Cross was deemed so important, a facility was built on the fairgrounds for use as a first aid station during the run of the fair every year.

About 120,000 people attend the Wayne County Fair, and the Red Cross provides first aid service free of charge.  Red Cross first aid workers respond to 200-300 incidents each year.  Taxpayer money is saved, by reducing the number of calls made to 911.

Our first aid service at the fair has been valued at approximately $20,000.

But for the man who suffered cardiac arrest on Monday, no value can be placed on the life-saving skills of the Red Cross first aid responders.

You can learn the same life-saving skills employed by the Red Cross by taking a class, to learn First Aid, CPR and AED. Training for other skills, such as babysitting and swimming and water safety are also offered. Go to redcross.org/takeaclass.

Photo credit: Mary Williams/American Red Cross

Fire Drives Residents from Home, Draws Red Cross Workers for Help

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This resident of a home on E. 82nd St. in Cleveland received Red Cross assistance, including money to buy shoes, after fleeing his burning home in bare feet.

He stood in his bare feet as he watched his home burn.  The man, one of three residents of a multi-family house on E. 82nd Street in Cleveland, was awakened by firefighters pounding on his door just after dawn Monday morning, and fled with no shoes or socks on his feet.

Two other residents,  Therens Vitanzan and Larry Anderson also escaped.  All three received financial assistance from the Red Cross, to help them with their immediate needs; a safe place to stay, a warm meal, and for one of the residents, shoes.

“That’s why we go,” said Disaster Program Manager Jeremy Bayer of the Greater Cleveland Chapter. “People who just lost their home, all their possessions, they need our help and the hope we can give them during their darkest hour.”

In addition to financial aid, the suddenly homeless residents received a small plastic bag filled with personal items like a toothbrush, toothpaste and soap.

Mr. Vitanzan, who was wrapped in a blanket, sat quietly in a van that doubles as an intake office at disaster locations, while Walter Reddick, a Red Cross volunteer, offered what comfort he could.  Walter also helped Mr. Anderson, who was grateful to escape from his burning home with his prized possession: his guitar.

Photo credit: Jim McIntyre/American Red Cross

In the coming days, all three residents will receive follow-up care from Red Cross case workers, who will help them develop a plan for recovery from the fire that forced them from their homes.

They were fortunate to escape without suffering serious injuries.Fire experts agree that people may have as little as two minutes to escape a burning home before it’s too late to get out. Seven times a day, someone in this country dies in a home fire.

Incidents like this highlight the importance of having working smoke alarms in every residence in Northeast Ohio, and the Red Cross is ready, willing and able to install free smoke alarms and provide valuable fire safety information to residents in their homes. Northeast Ohio residents can visit the Operation Save-A-Life website to contact their local Red Cross chapter and schedule an appointment for a free home safety inspection, free smoke alarms and free installation.

It’s our goal to reduce the number of deaths and injuries due to home fires by 25% over a five-year period.  Last year,  the Red Cross and its partners saved at least 102 lives as part of its nationwide Home Fire Campaign, and in Northeast Ohio, 12 lives were saved and more than 12,500 free smoke alarms were installed in homes throughout the Region.

 

Wanted: AmeriCorps Workers for NEO American Red Cross Corps

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WHO: Highly energized and passionate individuals who are prepared to serve full-time (including nights and weekends) to serve the mission of the American Red Cross

WHAT: Red Cross Corps (RCC) is a National AmeriCorps program with a goal of building capacity to deliver Preparedness Education across the country. Members will aim to reach 750 youth and 250 adults with Preparedness Education. In addition, each member will train 5 volunteers to help make Preparedness Education a sustainable community program.

WHEN: Members complete the program on August 11, 2017

WHERE:  Summit, Portage and Medina Counties Chapter
                  501 West Market St.
Akron, Ohio 44303

Click here for a full listing of American Red Cross AmeriCorps programs (National and State)

WHY: Red Cross Corps members will have an unique opportunity to impact their communities with life-saving preparedness education. By serving with the Red Cross, members are not only part of a national movement of service, but will also be connected to a humanitarian organization that strives to help people when they need it most!

Member Benefits:

  • Living allowance up to $14,000 (taxable) for 11 months of service
  • $5,775 Education Award. The Segal Education Award is good for seven years from the end of service and can be used to repay qualifiedstudent loans or for future education at eligible schools. National members age 55 and older at the time of service may be eligible to transfer the award to certain family members. Learn more about the Segal AmeriCorps Education Award.
  • Possible forbearance of qualified student loans. Note that interest continues to accrue. However accrued interest on qualifiedloans is eligible for payment by the National Service Trust.
  • Health plan benefits. Members are eligible to enroll in an Affordable Care Act compliant health plan.
  • Childcare benefits if you qualify. Learn more about our childcare benefits.

Plus, you will be following in the footsteps of our own Tim Reichel, Disaster Program Manager for the Stark County and Muskingum Lakes Chapter.

 

If you are interested in applying, please visit: http://www.myamericorps.gov

Red Cross, Partners Help Euclid Residents Prepare for and Prevent Home Fires

Lincoln Electric Volunteers, Euclid Fire Department Personnel Participate in Fire Safety Walk

Nearly 100 homes in Euclid now have working smoke alarms, following one of the largest Fire Safety Walks ever held in Northeast Ohio.  283 smoke alarms were installed on Saturday, August 6, 2016, with the enthusiastic help of volunteers from Lincoln Electric and our partners at the Euclid Fire Department.

“We were able to get into 95 homes and install 283 alarms. That is approximately 3 per home,” said John Gareis, Regional Manager of Preparedness and Community Planning in Northeast Ohio.

install1Combined with a similar effort last summer involving Lincoln Electric volunteers and the Euclid Fire Department, almost 650 smoke alarms have been installed in that Euclid neighborhood as part of Operation Save-A-Life, the American Red Cross initiative in Northeast Ohio to reduce the number of casualties in home fires by 25%.  John Gareis continued, “While the total number of alarms is less than last summer, our targeted area has far fewer homes in them – making this install more efficient overall!”

As was the case last summer, Lincoln Electric CEO Chris Mapes worked alongside employees to install the smoke alarms, and to provide residents with valuable fire safety information.  And Mike Parks, Regional CEO of the Red Cross in Northeast Ohio contributed to the effort, along with Red Cross volunteers and staff.

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Mike Parks, Chris Mapes and John Gareis

“The partnership between Lincoln Electric, Euclid Fire, and the American Red Cross is a winner to be sure and a model for others, not only in the Region but throughout the country,” Parks said.  “I know the event had an extremely positive impact, and will help prevent the loss of life due to home fires.”

Last year, more than 100 lives across the country were saved after smoke alarms were installed by the Red Cross and our partners.

Home fires remain the biggest disaster threat to individuals and families in the United States. There are three home fires, on average, in Northeast Ohio every night. Operation Save-A-Life, part of the national Red Cross Home Fire Campaign is in direct response to that dire threat, with the Red Cross committing to install 2.5 million free smoke alarms in neighborhoods at high risk for fires, and to educate those residents about fire prevention and preparedness.

More than 12,500 smoke alarms were installed in homes in Northeast Ohio last year.

If you would like a free fire safety inspection of your home, and free installation of smoke alarms, log onto redcross.org/neoosal.  You can also visit redcross.org/homefires to find out more about how to protect you and your family from fire. You can also become a Red Cross volunteer. And you can help by donating to Red Cross Disaster Relief by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS or texting the word REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation. Donations to Disaster Relief will be used to prepare for, respond to and help people recover from disasters big and small.

Euclid - Lincoln Fire Walk 2016

Click on the photo to see a gallery of pictures taken during the Euclid Fire Safety Walk.

Photo credit: Cal Pusateri, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

More Than a Half-Century of Red Cross Service

By Anmol Nigam, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

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Photo credit: Paul Wadowick, American Red Cross Communications Volunteer

When Jay Rosenthal was in his youth he witnessed an event so provoking, he would later decide to spend over fifty years of his life to prevent a recurrence.

It was the 1950’s, and Jay was roughly twelve years old, enjoying a beautiful Fourth of July at a the cool waters of a local pool along with hundreds of other people from his area. A sudden downpour prompted a mass exit from the pool.

As the crowd emptied, Jay would recall an “announcement on the PA system about a lost three year-old boy.” The body of the boy was found in the pool. He could not swim. Jay watched as the lifeguards attempted without success to resuscitate the boy.

Jay remembers with sadness and says, “in the fifties CPR and AEDs were only something of the future.”

It was from that moment, Jay would devote his life to preventing the loss of life by learning how to save lives and by training others to be safe in and prepare for emergencies. Jay continues to help the people in his community by his fifty-three years of service to the American Red Cross.

Jay now helps staff the Lake to River Chapter headquarters in Youngstown and teaches CPR and first aid classes.

Karen Conklin, Executive Director of the Lake to River Chapter, is one of Jay’s biggest fans. “Jay comes here every day to volunteer. He is so valuable. If we can’t find something we ask him. He is a fabulous First Aid /CPR instructor but his passion is teaching kids to swim. Ask him if he has any idea how many children and adults he has taught. He might have 53 years in, but thousands can swim because of him.”

When he’s not volunteering for the Red Cross, Jay coordinating a “Learn-to-Swim” program in community schools.

When we asked Jay the secret to his commitment, his response was “it’s in the blood.”

RNC Operation Ends in Cleveland

Whew!

That collective sigh of relief was offered up early Friday morning, following the conclusion of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland.

The convention, by nearly every measure, was a smashing success.

Following more than a year of preparation, the American Red Cross Crossroads Division, with a heavy Northeast Ohio regional presence, coordinated and lead the ARC involvement and support for the event.

Preparations included recruiting and training volunteers, securing potential shelter locations, staging assets like Emergency Response Vehicles in various locations, and renewing partnerships with various public safety entities and groups like the Southern Baptist Convention and the Salvation Army.

None of our services was needed.

Thankfully.

Red Cross workers underwent training during the operation that will be of benefit to those who will need our services during future disaster responses. And we increased our visibility in the community with news coverage of our preparations and social media messages about preparations, extreme heat safety, and the Red Cross Emergency App.

The Republican nominee wasn’t the only winner; the city of Cleveland shone, as evidenced by myriad media reports, almost universally positive.

For many Red Cross workers, the operation continues, with demobilization efforts.  We owe our volunteers our sincere gratitude for their dedication, which for one worker meant learning a totally new skill.

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Photo credit: Todd James/American Red Cross

Note: the article referenced above was written by Eilene Guy…a Red Cross volunteer.
If you would like to volunteer for the Red Cross, while we can’t guarantee you’ll learn how to drive a forklift, you can rest assured you will feel like you are giving back to your community. Visit our website to learn more about volunteer opportunities, and be prepared to help the Red Cross help those in need.

 

 

 

 

Training Lifts Red Cross Worker to New Heights

By EILENE E. GUY
American Red Cross volunteer

AKRON, July 17, 2016 – American Red Crosser Pam Williams is used to handling challenges.

In the last eight years, she has done some 25 disaster deployments all over the country.  As a government liaison, she sees to it that the Red Cross is working smoothly with whatever tribal, local, state and even federal agencies are also responding to a disaster.

“I haven’t severed diplomatic relations with a single state yet,” the slim, whitehaired volunteer from Akron, Ohio, said with a chuckle.

Williams admits it’s not always easy when “cranky politicians” take out their stress on her. She recalls with pride an episode that started with an angry emergency management director and his shelter manager who didn’t understand Red Cross policies. Williams went out of her way to patiently explain the “back story” of each and every procedure, adding hours to her days to smooth the local government-Red Cross relationship. Her reward: The shelter manager later wrote to her at home, asking how to become a Red Cross volunteer.

On the eve of what could be a busy assignment, as the Red Cross and its many partners get ready for the Republican National Convention, Williams seized a new challenge:  She took the training to become a forklift driver.

The Red Cross offers a staggering array of free courses, both on-line and hands-on, to teach disaster responders how to safely and effectively do their jobs – or jobs that they might just want to try.

“I know that we’re often short of forklift drivers, when a truck comes in with a load of supplies, and I thought ‘What the heck’,” Williams said, with an almost-mischievous smile. “You never know” when you might be able to fill a pressing need.

“It’s not necessarily hard to drive a forklift, but it’s nothing like driving a car,” she learned. With a zero-turning radius, “it feels like the back is going to slide right around in front of you. That took some getting used to.”

Using her light touch and attention to detail, Williams mastered the machine, much to the delight of her many male co-workers. “I didn’t hurt anybody. I didn’t damage any equipment or drop any loads,” she said with amused pleasure, “so it’s a good day!”

Now Williams’s car can sport a bumper sticker that proclaims: “My other ride is a forklift.”