Fargo, North Dakota floods

We’re sending some volunteers out to the flooding in and around Fargo, ND.  Volunteers on their way are:

Beth Bloom of Aptos, working as a Facilities Manager

Leonard Davis of Santa Cruz, working as a Material Support Manager

Craig Jenni of Watsonville, working as a Sheltering Supervisor

Wendy Ostrow of Santa Cruz, working as a Nursing Supervisor

We will be sending more volunteers over the weekend.

Did you notice how many “Supervisor” titles are in the above list?  Our volunteers are awesome!  Santa Cruz County should feel extremely taken care of – our volunteers are some of the best trained in the region. We also have a great number of volunteers – 410.  That is a huge number of active Disaster Services volunteers for a county of our size!

We’re always looking for more volunteers!  If you’re interested, call Patsy Hernandez at 831-462-2881 x16.  We are especially seeking nurses and mental health workers at this time!

Vampires? Who knows…

from drmcninja.com

from drmcninja.com

I know what you’re asking yourself.  “Why would my lovely local chapter of the American Red Cross perpetuate the urban legend that vampires run the Red Cross?”  You’re probably also asking yourself why a ninja, dressed as a Doctor, is talking to Ben Franklin in an elevator in this picture.

To answer your first question, vampires aren’t all bad.  Some of them fight on the side of good.  Also, some of them are sparkly, and have romantic teen books and movies based on them.  I think if vampires did run Red Cross Blood Services, they’d be the sparkly, romantic book kind.  They wouldn’t steal any of the blood that was donated, because they would know that every single blood donation has the potential to save up to 3 lives.

… so, have you given blood lately?

I know there are all sorts of excuses not to give blood.  It’s scary, there are needles, I don’t have time… but did you know that a blood donation only takes about an hour?  You could do that on your lunch break.  And getting over your fear of needles can quite literally save someone’s life.  Blood is needed for emergencies and for people who have cancer, blood disorders, sickle cell, anemia and other illnesses. Some people need regular blood transfusions to live.  Currently, there is no substitute for donated blood.

Plus, if you give blood, it will make our Blood Services Volunteer Coordinator, Duffy, very very happy.  And, if Blood Services IS run by vampires… its better if you keep them happy.

Click here for a schedule of Santa Cruz County blood drives.

Babysitter’s Training: For the cool kids.

When I was younger, I remember going to take the American Red Cross Babysitter’s Training class at the Baypark Square Mall in Green Bay.  Oh, my gravy I can remember the day I got that certificate.  I was the happiest girl in Happy Town.

Well, since I was 13, the Red Cross Babysitting class has changed somewhat – and like every new kid’s toy I wish I could have had back in the day- it is so much COOLER!

Our chapter’s Babysitter’s Training class now includes infant and child CPR in addition to rescue breathing and alleviating choking (the Heimlich maneuver).  Plus kids get a first aid kit with the class, a book with a DVD including resume templates and emergency contact lists, a pocket version of the Babysitter’s training book to take with on the job, PLUS the super awesome certification card at the end – sure to impress friends and possible clients.

The skills gained from the course go way beyond CPR and First Aid.  Kids will learn how to interview for the job, responsibility and safety skills, and basic care such as diapering and feeding.  They even learn how to use a cloth diaper.  What can we say?  We’re teaching preparedness, here!

We’re scheduling at least two classes a month here at our chapter, you can check out www.sccredcross.org for dates and times.  There is a link to the babysitting courses on the bottom left-hand side of the page.  The babysitting course is for 11-15 year olds Only!

Don’t Donate.

I love things that youth do.  Probably because I’m still technically what everyone around here keeps calling a “Spring Chicken.”  Whatever that means.

Anyway… I just found this killer video created by some Red Cross Youth members.  It made me giggle.  Perhaps it will make you giggle as well.  And then… have an unexplainable need to donate…

Gosh, we’re clever.

There’s a good chance that if you don’t know CPR, you’ll be eaten by a bear.

…ok, ok, I don’t want any phone calls from the big guys.  But, lets say you were being chased by a bear… wouldn’t it be comforting to know CPR and First Aid?  We think so.  That’s why we’re telling the world with our brand new PSA!  Look for it soon on the CW and KION.

American Red Cross Youth Dance

I’ve noticed that a lot of you have been searching for information about our upcoming youth dance.  Here’s the info:

American Red Cross Youth Dance

Space is limited!! To purchase tickets, please email Katie at kradvanyi@sccredcross.org

When:   Saturday, March 14, 2009
Where:  Aptos Village Park Clubhouse, 100 Aptos Creek Road, Aptos
(by Nicene Marks)
Time:     8-11 pm, doors close at 8:30
Theme:  Sports

“LOST” in Translation

What are your irrational fears?

"He must have let his CPR certification expire... look at that dreadful hand position!"

"He must have let his CPR certification expire... look at that dreadful hand position!"

Mine include spiders laying eggs anywhere on my body and/or falling into space while on an airplane (falling into space… or getting sucked into space?).

I’ve had more than a few people tell me that their irrational fear is being stuck on a deserted island.  I can’t say I blame them… there would probably be several new kinds of spiders with new and terrifying egg-laying abilities on a deserted island.

Speaking of which… has anyone seen “LOST”?  Woah… calm down… yes I know Sayid is “dreamy”… And no, I did not catch that spectacular new plot twist last week.  I’m still on the 2nd season!  Give a girl a chance to catch up.

Despite my growing admiration for the show, as a proud Red Cross Employee and self-certified Preparedness Geek, I feel that I must bring to light some misconceptions about CPR and First Aid that LOST has been perpetuating.   OK, apparently there’s some “mystical force” on the island that keeps saving everyone… but in the absence of a mystical force (or lucky appearance of a doctor) in your emergency situation, here are some mystical misconceptions clarified:

1.  If one has an object embedded in their body, DO NOT REMOVE the object.  Bandage bulky dressings around the object to keep it from moving.  This will minimize bleeding and minimize shock.  I have to say that it is kind of amazing how many times someone has had an object embedded in their body so far in LOST.  I’m sure it is some kind of TV record.

2. CPR is a valuable tool for anyone who would like to help save a life… however, CPR alone is not enough for a victim to  survive cardiac arrest.  The greatest chance of survival from cardiac arrest occurs when the following sequence of events happens as quickly as possible:

Cardiac Chain of Survival

1. Early recognition and early access.  The sooner 911 is called, the better.

2. Early CPR.  Early CPR helps circulate blood that contains oxygen to the vital organs until and AED is ready to use or advanced medical personnel arrive.

3. Early Defibrillation.  Most persons with sudden cardiac arrest need and electric shock called “defibrillation.”  Each minute that defibrillation is delayed reduces the chance of survival by about 10% (for more on defibrillation, keep watching the blog – or take a CPR class!).

4. Early advanced medical care.  This is given by trained medical personnel who give further care and transport to hospital facilities, where hopefully the machines are not finely crafted from bamboo and coconuts.

Instances of CPR in LOST are not realistic, and they are also numerous.  Plus, if our CPR instructors saw the CPR that was being dolled out on the island, they’d probably be so shocked by the bad form that they’d have their own cardiac arrest.

3. Ok, if someone has a pulse, then it is possible for Rescue Breathing alone to save their life.  However, if someone has stopped breathing for a certain amount of time, that will inevitably cause a cardiac arrest.  If a person has no pulse, their heart has either stopped or is in a state of “fibrillation” (meaning that the heart is beating erratically, and needs to be corrected by defibrillation.  If the heart is in fibrillation, you will not feel a pulse), then they are in cardiac arrest. If this is the case, CPR alone will likely not be enough to save them.

… are you getting way more than you bargained for, yet?  Don’t worry… This blog is in no way intended to be a replacement for a real CPR class.  Take a real class with one of our awesome instructors to have your questions answered.  I can’t guarantee that the instructor will be as obsessed with LOST as you or I… but I can guarantee that you’ll leave the class confident that you have the skills to help save a life – even on a deserted island.