RED CROSS SUPPORTS BILL REQUIRING CPR INSTRUCTION IN HIGH SCHOOL

The American Red Cross is proud to support AB 1719. A bill introduced by Assembly member Freddie Rodriguez in early January 2016. The legislation would ensure high school students learn CPR before they graduate high school. AB 1719 holds the power to create a generation of lifesavers.

“CPR is one of the most important life skills a person can have. I have been an Emergency Medical Technician for over 30 years and I have seen too many cases that could have turned out differently if a bystander had known how to administer CPR,” said Assemblymember Rodriguez. “By teaching CPR in high school, we are sending students into the world with an essential, life-saving skill. We have the ability to dramatically impact the rates of survival for sudden cardiac arrest and save countless lives.”

Under AB 1719, school districts would have the flexibility to teach hands-only CPR in any required class, such as P.E. or Health. The bill is co-sponsored by the American Heart Association and American Red Cross who have led the effort to pass similar legislation in 27 other states.

“Sudden cardiac arrest is one of the leading causes of death in the United States yet too few people know how to perform CPR,” says Gary Strong, CEO of the American Red Cross Gold Country Region. “Our lawmakers have a bill before them that could create a generation of lifesavers by requiring hands-on CPR training before high school graduation. We support AB 1719 as it will better prepare our students; therefore, build prepared communities.”

“The American Heart Association’s and the American Red Cross’ goal is to teach lifesaving CPR skills to as many teens and young adults as possible in California to help keep our communities safer, year after year,” said Dr. Franklin Pratt, former medical director of the Los Angeles County Fire “Having a new generation of lifesavers will deliver an increased amount of safety and security to all of our communities.”

The Los Angeles County Fire Department believes so strongly in the effectiveness of teaching CPR to our youth that they trained 9,000 students last year using the American Heart Association’s CPR Anytime program.

According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest is one of the most lethal public health threats in the United States. Nearly 326,000 people experience cardiac arrest outside the hospital each year, and sadly, only 10 percent survive. Effective bystander CPR provided immediately after sudden cardiac arrest can double or triple a victim’s chance of survival, but only 32 percent of cardiac arrest victims get CPR from a bystander.

 

Bringing the Comfort of Warm Blankets to Our Vets in Redding

By Marlene Stamper, Public Affairs Volunteer

Isn’t it great to curl up with a warm blanket on the couch and watch your favorite TV show? Or what about that feeling you get when you wrap your child in their special blanket? Blankets bring us warmth, comfort, and even a feeling of security for some of us. Case in point: Charlie Brown’s best friend, Linus and his oh-so-important security blanket. No matter who you are, young or old, big or small, I bet you appreciate the comfort of a warm blanket. I know I do. So, that’s why it was a great pleasure and honor for me to ride along with two of my Red Cross friends, Lilly Wyatt (Director, Regional Communications and Marketing) and Tobrin Hewitt (Regional Services to the Armed Forces Manager) to deliver nearly 150 blankets to the Veterans Home of California in Redding. The Home is a 155-bed, long-term care facility for California Veterans.

When we dropped off the blankets, we had the opportunity to say hello to a few of our veterans. They were happy and appreciative to receive our unexpected gifts. And, I like to think when our vets use the blankets they’ll be reminded that their service to our country is greatly appreciated, today and every day.

The First U.S. Community Credit Union provided the blankets. The credit union partnered with the American Red Cross to sponsor a blanket drive that resulted in generous donations from their employees and members. This is just one of many examples of the community showing their support for California veterans.

The American Red Cross has a comprehensive program to support our veterans called the Services to the Armed Forces program. Tobrin manages this program and he said, “Providing blankets for a little extra comfort to our vets in just one aspect of our program.” The Services to the Armed Forces program also provides so much more to military members and their families, such as:

  • Emergency communication services by connecting military members with their families back home when an emergency strikes.
  •  Emergency financial assistance by partnering with military aid societies to help military members and their families get assistance 24/7.
  •  Information and referral services for counseling, guidance, and other social services.
  •  Deployment services such as training, information, and support before, during, and after deployments.

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Donor Spotlight – McDonald’s Mother Lode Bringing out the pies to help families of the Butte Fire.

 

It has been a little over five months since the Butte Fire ravaged through the hills and neighborhoods of Calaveras and Amador counties. While those communities continue their recovery process, community members and businesses like McDonalds in the Mother Lode are still gathering the donations they received from their customers.

When the fire erupted that September 9 last year, Dennis Graspointner, McDonald’s owner/operator of the store in the Mother Lode called his local Red Cross to offer support.

He gathered his team of employees and his supervisor Ron Richards to come up with a unique fundraiser to assist those affected by the wildfire.

ButteFire_McDonalds
Mc Donald’s Mother Lode Team – Owner/operator Dennis Graspointer is in the middle and supervisor Ron Richards is to the far right. 

They thought…  “What is America’s favorite thing?” The All American Apple Pie, of course! Therefore, they kicked off a campaign where all proceeds from the purchase of pies would benefit the fire victims of the California Wildfires.

As soon as the campaign began, it was a hit in the community.

“Customers came by just for the pies, to help their friends and neighbors who had been evacuated,” says Dennis Graspointer.

Five months later, Liza Cruz, one of our major gift officers went by the store to say hello and to find out how the drive was going. “When I arrived the employees were so happy to have Red Cross there,” smiles Liza. “I was honored to be with such compassionate people.”

The pie sales raised more than $6000 dollars!

“McDonald’s is proud to be able to help, we benefited from the generosity of the customers, and they bought large quantities of pies, so thank you!” exclaimed Dennis.

The American Red Cross was able to help residents in Amador and Calaveras affected by the Butte Fire. Thanks to your generous support, we were able to:

  • Open 5 shelters providing over 1,750 overnight stays;
  • Serve more than 33, 000 meals and snacks;
  • Hand out 23,500 relief items, like comfort kits and clean up kits containing shovels, gloves and more;
  • And open 430 cases to provide one-on-one support to residents.

But, that’s not all; we continue to be in Calaveras and Amador counties to offer assistance to those affected by the fire with the recovery team “Calaveras Recovers.”

 

American Red Cross Provides Valuable Information at Calaveras Recovers Open House

On January 22, local American Red Cross volunteers joined about 20 other organizations and more than 100 Butte Fire survivors at the “Rebuilding Calaveras: A New Beginning” open house, sponsored by Calaveras Recovers, held in Mountain Ranch, CA.

Attendees were offered free expert advice on home building such as, tips on how to hire a qualified contractor, how to build fire and flood resistant homes, reforestation, and much more. Red Cross volunteers were on hand to distribute information on home fire preparedness, how to develop a fire escape plan, backpacks with fire safety information, and Disney coloring books for children.

Debbie Calcote, Disaster Program Manager, Butte Fire Recovery, was impressed and pleased with the enthusiastic attendance at the open house, in spite of the rain. She said, “It poured the whole evening, but that didn’t deter those who wanted information.”

Code Red, an emergency notification service, provided attendees information on how to sign up for the valuable service that allows emergency officials to notify residents and businesses by telephone, cell phone, text message, email, and social media regarding time-sensitive general and emergency notifications.

The Butte Fire was fully contained in early October 2015. The fire destroyed nearly 500 homes, more than 300 outbuildings, and burned nearly 72,000 acres. And unfortunately, two people were killed. Recovery from this level of destruction will continue for many years. The American Red Cross will continue to support recovery efforts through community work and as active members of the Calaveras Recovers Team.

Home Fire Campaign – Reaching Secluded Areas

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This past Saturday, February 6, 2016, Red Cross volunteers gathered around to knock on doors and help save lives at the Columbia Sky Mobile Home Park in Tuolumne County.

Together with the Tuolumne Fire Department about a dozen volunteers met on the brisk Saturday morning to participate in the first Home Fire Campaign canvassing event in that county.

The day could not have been better, even the deer were out to greet the volunteers and the Columbia mobile home park residents were friendly and receptive.

“All of the volunteers really enjoyed visiting with the seniors,” said Debbie Calcotte, Disaster Program Manager with the American Red Cross Gold Country Region.

In all, volunteers visited 39 homes and installed 51 smoke alarms.

“This was a great kick-off canvassing event for Tuolumne County,” said Lilly Wyatt, Communications Director. “But, we would not have been able to get in to talk to so many individuals and families if it wasn’t for the partnership and collaboration of the Tuolumne Fire Department.”

Anyone is encouraged to sign up and volunteer for future canvassing events across the 24-county Gold Country region of the American Red Cross. Training is provided.

“Today’s event was encouraging,” added JoLynn Miller, Red Cross volunteer. “We heard stories from the people we were visiting on how they actually support the Red Cross with donations and how grateful they were to the teams for being there today.”

The young fire cadets we’re also thrilled to talk to the community about how important fire safety was and help them with fire escape plans and routes.

Data shows that the 4% of homes without smoke alarms represent nearly 40% of the home fires, and that working smoke alarms can double someone’s chance of surviving a fire. That’s why, the American Red Cross is continuing the multi-year Home Fire Campaign, which aims to reduce home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent by the end of 2019.

  •  Installation teams have three goals:
    • Testing and installing smoke alarms and/or replacing batteries (as needed);
    • Educating the resident on fire safety and safety from other types of locally relevant disasters; and
    • Documenting installation information, including the services provided.

The Red Cross also is asking every household in America to join us in taking the two simple steps that can save lives: checking their existing smoke alarms and practicing fire drills at home.

We are in Sonora next Saturday.

Check our our Home Fire Campaign Album on Flickr with images from some of the canvassing events we’ve participated in. 🙂