A Light in the Red Cross Family that will not be Forgotten

Red Cross volunteers are unlike any other. Not only do they help individuals and families when any disaster big or small affects their communities, they also go above and beyond to help in every area of our operations. What makes our volunteers unique is the bond they form amongst other Red Cross volunteers – they become an instant family.

Today, it’s a somber day for our family of volunteers in Modesto and the entire Gold Country region as we said our final good bye’s and recollected the impact one of our own made in our communities.

Our passionately devoted volunteer Debbie Brasher passed away at home peacefully in her sleep. During her celebration of life, it was clear that she touched hundreds of people’s lives. A church full of family and friends recalled her eagerness to serve, passion for volunteering at various organizations and her desire to keep smiling and make other people grin.

Debbie volunteered for the Red Cross in our Modesto office for more than five years. Since her first time she stepped inside the office, she began training, being proactive in projects, taking a leadership role and making things happen.

“Debbie was a hard worker and a treasured volunteer,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager for the Gold Country Region. “She never said no. She would take the time to do whatever assignment accurately with a smile on her face and a great attitude.”

Mrs. Brasher was involved in Red Cross event coordination for both public events as well as events organized by the chapters. She helped with documenting future shelter locations and was part of a Disaster Action Team. Debbie was deployed to Washington to assist providing food and water to clients affected by the fires a couple of years ago.

Debbie, a long-time Hughson resident began volunteering for our organization after a long career in the California court system first in Alameda County and then in Stanislaus County where she held the positions of Assistant Administrator and most recently, IT Director. She was especially honored of her volunteer work with the American Red Cross and missionary service work in India and Mississippi.

“Debbie was always compassionate towards other volunteers, everything she said was always positive,” recalls Liza Cruz, a Red Cross employee. “She is surely going to be missed.”

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Cruz Roja emite Claves de Seguridad para el 4 de Julio, para viajes, uso de parrillas, lugares con agua y fuegos artificiales.

Estamos a dos días de distancia de uno de mis dias festivos favoritos del año, ya que la mayoría de los niños están disfrutando de las vacaciones de verano , tenemos días impresionantes casi todos los días, disfrutamos de la luz del día casi 16 horas y bueno , en pocas palabras , la vida es fácil y divertida durante el verano. La risa , piscinas , diversión, barbacoas, familiares y diversion con amigos hacen esta temporada aún mejor.

Desafortunadamente, es en estos tiempos felices de celebración que se producen muchos accidentes. Así que hoy, sólo un par de días antes de celebrar el Día de la Independencia, quiero ofrecerle consejos de seguridad para que usted y su familia esten conscientes y preparados.

SEGURIDAD EN LAS AUTOPISTAS Millones de personas estarán en las autopistas durante el fin de semana del 4 de Julio. La Cruz Roja ofrece estas cinco recomendaciones que todos deben seguir para mantenerse seguros mientras se desplazan:

  1. Abrocha cinturones de seguridad, observa el límite de velocidad.
  2. No conduzcas si has bebido.
  3. Presta atención completa al camino- no uses el celular para llamar o mandar mensajes.
  4. Se cuidadoso en las zonas de trabajo en la vía.
  5. Limpia las luces y ventanas del vehículo para ayudar al conductor a ver claramente, especialmente de noche. Enciende las luces cuando el ocaso se aproxime, o durante clima inclemente.

July4_water safety tipSEGURIDAD EN EL AGUA Así la gente trate de refrescarse en la playa o piscina, la seguridad en el agua debe estar siempre en mente. Los siguientes tips pueden ayudarte a disfrutar el agua de forma segura:

  1. Aprende a nadar y solo hazlo en áreas designadas y supervisadas por salvavidas.
  2. Siempre nada acompañado; no dejes que nadie nade solo.
  3. Haz que los niños o nadadores inexpertos usen chalecos flotadores aprobados por la Guardia Costera Americana, pero no deposites tu confianza en ellos solamente.
  4. Presta atención constante y cercana a niños y nadadores inexpertos que estén dentro o cerca del agua. Evita distracciones mientras supervises.
  5. Limita la cantidad de sol directo recibido entre las 10:00 a.m. y las 4:00 p.m., y usa un bloqueador solar de amplio espectro con factor 15 como mínimo. Replícalo frecuentemente.

July4_Sparkler_fireworkSEGURIDAD EN EL USO DE FUEGOS ARTIFICIALES La mejor manera de disfrutar los fuegos artificiales es ir a eventos hechos por profesionales. Aquí tienes 5 pasos de seguridad para aquellos que vayan a usar fuegos artificiales en casa.

  1. Nunca des fuegos artificiales a niños pequeños, y siempre sigue las instrucciones del paquete.
  2. Mantén agua cerca como precaución.
  3. Asegúrate que la persona que este encendiendo los fuegos artificiales siempre use protección ocular.
  4. Enciende un solo fuego artificial a la vez y nunca intentes reencenderlos.
  5. Nunca lances o apuntes un fuego artificial hacia personas, animales, vehículos, estructuras o materiales inflamables.

Fourth-of-July-Grill-Tip-FINALSEGURIDAD AL USAR LA PARRILLA Todos los años hay personas que resultan heridas mientras usan parrillas de carbón o gas. Aquí encontrarás los pasos para hacer parrilla en forma segura.

  1. Siempre supervisa la parrilla mientras la uses.
  2. Nunca uses la parrilla en ambientes cerrados –casa, casas rodantes, tiendas de campaña, o cualquier área cerrada.
  3. Asegúrate que todos, incluidas las mascotas, permanezcan lejos de la parrilla.
  4. Mantén la parrilla en un espacio abierto, lejos de la casa, terraza de madera, ramas de árboles, o cualquier cosa que pudiera incendiarse.
  5. Usa utensilios largos especialmente diseñados para cocinar en parrillas y mantener al chef seguro.

APP DE EMERGENCIA

Todos pueden descargar la aplicación de Emergencia de Cruz Roja para recibir alertas de clima severo y advertencias en su área local, en lugares de destino o donde viven sus seres queridos. “Familia Segura” tiene características únicas que permiten a los usuarios de la app notificar a su familia y amigos que están en una zona afectada por una emergencia o desastre. Pasos para practicar Primeros Auxilios en casos como el de ataques cardiacos, emergencias relacionadas con el corazón e información de seguridad en agua están también incluidas. El contenido está disponible en Inglés y Español. La aplicación puede ser descargada desde las Tiendas de Aplicaciones, buscando por “American Red Cross” o yendo directamente a redcross.org/app.

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Top 4th of July Safety Steps for Travel, Grilling and Fireworks

We are two days away from one of my favorite holidays in the year. Why, well most children are enjoying summer break, we have awesome hot days most of the days, we get to enjoy daylight for 15-16 hours a day (In California)… well, simply put, life is easy and fun during the summer. Laughter, pools, fun, BBQs, family and friends makes this time even better.

Unfortunately, it is during these happy times of celebration that many accidents occur. So today, just a couple of days before we celebrate Independence Day, we have all encompassing safety tips to keep you and your family aware and prepared.

“Everyone looks forward to having fun over the Fourth of July, and the Red Cross wants to make sure people know how to stay safe while enjoying the holiday,” said Lilly Wyatt, Regional Communications and Marketing Director for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

HIGHWAY SAFETY Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

  1. Buckle seat belts, observe speed limits.
  2. Do not drink and drive.
  3. Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to call or text.
  4. Use caution in work zones.
  5. Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.

July4_Sparkler_fireworkFIREWORKS SAFETY The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps for people setting fireworks off at home:

  1. Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  2. Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  3. Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  4. Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  5. Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.

Fourth-of-July-Grill-Tip-FINALGRILLING SAFETY Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  1. Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  2. Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  3. Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  4. Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  5. Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.

EMERGENCY APP People can download the free Red Cross Emergency App to receive severe weather watches and warnings in their local area, at travel destinations and where loved ones live. “Family Safe” is a unique feature that allows app users to notify family and friends who are in an area affected by an emergency or disaster. First Aid steps for situations such as heart attacks, heat-related emergencies and water safety information are also included. The content is available in English and Spanish. The app can be downloaded from app stores by searching for “American Red Cross” or by going to redcross.org/apps.

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A Triumphal 2nd Annual Operation Care Package

06.15.15 OperationCarePackageEvent 347The triple digit temperatures experienced during Operation Care Package didn’t prevent dozens of volunteers and hundreds of community members show incredible support to the second annual collection event in support of our military locally and abroad.

The event held at the Roseville Auto mall on Friday, June 12th was organized by Army Veteran and now Red Crosser Tobrin Hewitt who made sure the lines were straight and the boxes organized as soon as donors were dropping off loads of items outside the Toyota dealership.

The inaugural year was able to gather more than 4,000 care packages for our military members in Afghanistan and Kuwait. This year, we’re expecting to surpass that amount and send care packages for our service members deployed to the Far East in Japan and South Korea as well as to the Stork’s Nest program in the Naval Hospital located in Yokosuka, Japan.

“Opening a care package when you are deployed makes you feel like a million bucks,” said Tobrin Hewitt, Services to the Armed Forces Manager at the Red Cross Gold Country Region. “So, we’re sure to make a lot of our military members not only those deployed but our local veterans feel extra special.”

It was an exhilarating and exciting event, but it was also very hot and we’re grateful to our Red Cross volunteers as well as our partner volunteer groups like Blue Star Moms, Marine Families and Military Families of Yolo County who were sweating it out with us.

Sign with Lilly Tom and MilitaryThe support of our business community is making this event bigger and better each year and we’re grateful to all of our sponsors for their donations to make this event remarkable. We’d like to give a shout-out to Roseville Automall, Sutter Health, UPS, Walmart, Safe Credit Union, Aerojet Rocketdyne, Hanson Bridgett Law Firm, with a very special thanks to KCRA/KQCA for their time and constant promotion of this event live from the event.

Operation Care Package reached a total viewership in our Designated Media Market (DMA) of 545,588 with a total Local Market Publicity Value of $44,468.75.

Operation Care Package fans followed the action of the event through our social media channels with 20 posts sent from @RCSierraDelta with a twitter engagement of 13-17 retweets per post. Operation Care Package was also active on Facebook/RCSierraDelta as well as on Instagram RCGoldCountry.

Check out all the pictures from this awesome event! http://bit.ly/OCP2015

About the American Red Cross Service to the Armed Forces Program.

The American Red Cross’ unwavering commitment to members of the U.S. military, its veterans and their families continues to grow and develop more than a century after Clara Barton first recruited nurses to support the U.S. Army. In the Gold Country Region, we are proud to carry on that legacy of service to the brave men and women of our Armed Forces. For more information, follow us on Twitter @RCSierraDelta or join the conversation on Facebook facebook.com/RCSierraDelta.

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Red Cross Survey Finds 61% of Children, Including More than Half of All Teens, Can’t Perform Basic Swim Safety Skills

Used for the 2014 Aquatic Attraction Lifeguarding course presentation and other materials related to this course.  Pictures depict lifeguards in a waterpark setting demonstrating the skills needed for lifeguards to get certified to work in this environment. Photo by Michael Del Polito/American Red Cross © Stock photo taken for the American Red Cross

Picture depict lifeguards in a waterpark setting demonstrating the skills needed for lifeguards to get certified to work in this environment.         Photo by Michael Del Polito/American Red Cross

Sacramento, CA – June 18, 2015 Even before the official start of summer, temperatures in the Gold Country region have been soaring, and the perfect way to cool down is by jumping in pool, lakes, and rivers or nearby beaches. But, can you swim well enough to save your life?

As part of a national campaign to reduce the drowning rate by 50 percent over the next three to five years, the Red Cross released national survey data that shows that most children and teens cannot perform basic swimming safety skills.

water-safety-survey-infographicThe survey, conducted for the Red Cross, found that nearly all parents (94 percent) expect that their children will engage in some sort of water activity this summer. However, nearly two-thirds (61 percent) of these parents report that their child cannot demonstrate all five basic skills that could save their lives in the water. Of these, 65 percent are parents of children (ages 4-12) and 51 percent are parents of teens (ages 13-17).

These critical water safety skills, also known as “water competency,” are the ability to, in this order: step or jump into the water over your head; return to the surface and float or tread water for one minute; turn around in a full circle and find an exit; swim 25 yards to the exit; and exit from the water. If in a pool, be able to exit without using the ladder.

“We’re asking every family to make sure that both adults and children here in the Gold Country Region, from Modesto all the way to Redding can swim and that parents make water safety a priority this summer,” said Lilly Wyatt, Director of Communications for the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

Every day, an average of 10 people die in the U.S. from unintentional drowning – and 1 in 5 of them are children 14 or younger, according to statistics from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. In California, the drowning rate is 62 per year according to the latest findings from 2013. Drowning is the second leading cause of unintentional injury death for children and fifth for people of all ages. In addition, for every child who dies from drowning, another five receive emergency department care for nonfatal submersion injuries.

Other key survey findings are:

  • Nearly a fifth (18 percent) of adults who are not able to perform all five water safety skills expect to supervise a child near water this summer.
  • Fear is listed as the top reason for not learning how to swim both as a child and as an adult.
  • Nearly half of Americans (46 percent) report that they have had an experience where they were afraid they might drown.
  • Near-drowning experiences are more common among young adults (ages 18-24). And younger Americans are also more likely than those in any other age group to report that they know someone who nearly drowned (36 percent).

 water-safety-survey-secondary-infographicPlan ahead with these five steps to stay safe in and around the water:

  1. Adults: actively supervise children. And kids, be cool. Follow the rules.
  2. Don’t fool with a pool: fence it in.
  3. Learn to swim well enough that you can perform all five water competency skills. If you can’t look for Red Cross Learn-to-Swim classes.
  4. Don’t just pack it, wear your life jacket – always on a boat and if in a situation beyond your skill level.
  5. Swim as a pair near a lifeguard’s chair.

The national public opinion survey was conducted for the Red Cross April 17-20, 2014 using ORC International’s Online CARAVAN omnibus survey. The study was conducted among a national sample of 1,024 American adults, including 201 parents of children aged 4-17. The total sample is balanced to be representative of the US adult population in terms of age, sex, geographic region, race and education.  The margin of error for the total sample of 1,024 adults is ±3.1percent; the margin of error for the sample of 201 parents is ±6.9 percent.

Get the American Red Cross Swim App! Check out our video on how helpful it is:

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“Feel Good Moments” by Leadership Council Member and Red Cross Volunteer, Ti Curry

Leadership council member and Red Cross volunteer  Ti Curry.

Leadership council member and Red Cross volunteer Ti Curry.

 

I served in the Army from 1969 to 1971.  Most of that time was spent in Viet Nam.  Because of my specialized training I served with a lot of different battalions such as the 50th APC Company, the 173rd or The Herd, as they were more commonly known, and the 9th Calvary.

My interest in the Red Cross peaked when I found out that they were doing Service to the Armed Forces.  Because of my service in Viet Nam I want to help the most unappreciated veterans in America.

Red Cross gave me that vehicle to help them and any other Vets I would come in contact with.

Some of the things I do for the SAF are: attend meetings with the local VFW, The VA Services, The Soldiers Project and the International Veteran Alliance. I also attend events where veterans will gather to hand out helpful veteran information and I have marched in the Veteran’s Day parade as a Red Cross Representative of the SAF.  I have also done follow-up phone calls on cases where an active service member needed to get home for an emergency.

Last but not least, I have followed up on a Veteran who needed help but was not responsive to our phone calls.  When I went to his house, I found that he was not responding to phone calls because he wore two hearing aids and he could not hear the phone ringing upstairs while I was interviewing him. He only had one phone, which was upstairs, and he spent most of his time downstairs.

My feel good moments with the SAF are every time I make a solid connection with a veteran and he thanks me for my service, that’s a good feeling.

 

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Valued Volunteers Help Us Fulfill Our Lifesaving Mission – Join The Team!

Red Cross volunteer Andy Grossman talks with Weed resident Karly Gregory at the site where her home once stood.

Red Cross volunteer Andy Grossman talks with Weed resident Karly Gregory at the site where her home once stood.

When people see the Red Cross responding to emergencies, they often want to help but don’t know how. We want to help you get involved now, before a major disaster strikes.

Our volunteers respond to a local emergency every 11 hours. In these events, the Red Cross provides shelter, food, and health and mental health services to help families and entire communities get back on their feet. Although the Red Cross is not a government agency, it is an essential part of the response when disaster strikes. We work in partnership with other agencies and organizations that provide services to disaster victims.

Most of you have probably noticed reports of several fires in our region. With our record drought conditions, it will not be surprising to have many more, and the danger of a big fire is greater than ever.

The Red Cross has had a presence in the Gold Country region for over 100 years with a modest number of dedicated individuals. Now only a very small number of volunteers remain to provide initial help to folks who have lost their homes, who need a place to stay, food, and maybe critical prescription medications. These same volunteers are regularly the ones to start the process of setting up evacuation centers and shelters for large disasters.

If our local volunteers are not available because of vacations or illness, volunteers from Yuba City or Sacramento will respond, but driving time will insure it won’t be as prompt. Consider your family standing beside the ashes of what used to be your house without money, credit cards, car keys, phone and phone numbers, only the clothing on their backs – would waiting an extra hour or two for help make a difference?

Volunteer Carrie Reilly delivers water and supplies to residents impacted by 2014's Boles Fire in Weed, CA.

Volunteer Carrie Reilly delivers water and supplies to residents impacted by 2014’s Boles Fire in Weed, CA.

You can make a difference by volunteering with the American Red Cross. We’ll find the position that appeals to you and allows you to use your skills and talents. Requirements are few: 18 or over, retired or with a flexible work/school schedule. We do require a background check of all our volunteers, We do this to ensure both our volunteers and clients have a positive interaction with the Red Cross .

We have several areas where you can get involved, from communications/public affairs to disaster response and recovery, fundraising, preparing the community for a disaster and general administrative support. For more information or to sign up visit: www.redcross.org/GoldCountry.

Sign up for the Team Red Cross App, which allows you to sign up to help, get an overview of basic tasks and receive notifications about Red Cross disaster volunteer opportunities in your community.

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