To the Editor:
Recent events in Boston and Texas emphasize the importance of knowing what to do when an emergency occurs.
Even as first responders rushed in to help at both scenes, much of the initial care to the injured was provided by friends, neighbors and bystanders who were trained in CPR and first aid.
Whether the emergency is community-wide and involves numerous injuries, or involves a single individual being hurt at home, it is vital that someone close by knows what to do when such an emergency occurs.
Being prepared for disasters can bring peace of mind during trying times and can help save someone’s life during future emergencies.
Taking a simple action like downloading the Red Cross first aid app, taking a first aid class or building a disaster supply kit can help people feel empowered to act when disaster strikes.
The American Red Cross has numerous ways people can get the information and training they need to be able to help when an emergency occurs and urges everyone to be better prepared by taking advantage of training and mobile apps available to teach them what to do when someone needs assistance.
The Red Cross has classes available that emphasize hands-on-learning of First aid, cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and use of an automated external defibrillator (AED).
The courses teach someone the skills they need to help save a life.
Participants learn how to respond to common first aid emergencies, how to respond to cardiac and breathing emergencies in adults and how to use AEDs.
There are also options available to learn how to help infants and children.
People can register for these classes at redcross.org/takeaclass or by calling 1-800-REDCROSS.
Family and household members can learn how to prevent and respond to emergencies by taking the new Red Cross Family First Aid and CPR online course. The cost is $30. Family First Aid and CPR teaches you how to:
• Identify signals of medical emergencies.
• Give appropriate care for common first aid emergencies.
• Know when to call 9-1-1 and what to do until help arrives for critical cardiac and first aid emergencies.
This course is for people who do not require OSHA-compliant certification. It takes about two hours to go through the Adult CPR and First Aid content. Pediatric modules are also available.
People can also download the free Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone and Android mobile devices which puts simple lifesaving information at someone’s fingertips.
Features include step-by-step instructions to guide someone through everyday first aid scenarios, full integration with 9-1-1 to call emergency services from the app and preloaded content to have instant access to information even without device reception or internet connectivity.
The app is available in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store by searching for American Red Cross.
The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information or to donate, visit www.redcross.org/Chesapeake or Tweet us @RedCrossMD.
Douglas Lent, communications officer
American Red Cross
of the Chesapeake Region