Friday, October 30, 2009

Trick or Treat!

Stop by our Disaster Preparedness table at Mall of St. Matthews and Oxmoor Center Mall from 5-7 p.m. Saturday night. My fellow AmeriCorps members and I will be handing out Red Cross bags promoting both Halloween and Fire Safety during the malls store-to-store trick-or-treat. Each bag comes with a fire preparedness sheet, Red Cross magnet, 9 volt battery, Halloween safety tips and a few pieces of candy, of course. I hope to see you there!

In the meantime, here are some fun tips to follow this Halloween.

1. Map out the route that you plan to roam, so adults are assured you will find your way home!
2. From the bravest of superheroes to the noblest of knights, everyone should remember to bring their flashlights!
3. If you visit a house where a stranger resides, accept treats at the door and, please, don’t go inside.
4. When you get ready to put on your disguise, use face paint instead of masks, which will cover your eyes.
5. Always remember, before you embark, to wear light-colored clothing to be seen in the dark! (And remember to use reflective tape, even on bikes, skateboards and brooms!)
6. Whether you walk, slither or sneak, do it on the sidewalks and not in the street.
7. As you roam through the neighborhood collecting your treats, please look both ways before crossing the street! (And cross from the corner!)
8. Wigs, capes and costumes are flammable attire, so avoid open flames to prevent a fire!
9. Use a glow stick instead of a candle so your jack-o-lantern isn’t a safety gamble!
10. You may fly on a broom or a space ship from Mars, but please be on the lookout for drivers in cars! (And don’t hide between parked vehicles).
11. Monsters and zombies should stay off the lawn, and only visit homes with their porch lights turned on!
12. You may be dressed as a werewolf, a cat or a frog, but be cautious around strange animals, especially dogs.
13. Have a grown-up inspect your candy when you’re done trick-or-treating to remove open packages and choking hazards before eating.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Practice makes Perfect

This past Saturday, the Buffalo Trace Service Center in Georgetown, IN, partnered up with the Emergency Management Association (EMA), Crawford County Schools and their local Fire Departments for a disaster training exercise. The exercise revolved around a chemical leak resulting from a truck that lost control on Indiana Highway 66 crashing into the school parking lot on a “regular school day.” Participating kids were placed on buses, inside the school and in the parking lot.

Red Cross staff and volunteers assisted in feeding Emergency Workers, kids and their families. They also comforted the families of the kids who had been “affected” by the trauma as they would in the case of an actual disaster. Similar exercises take place at regional chatpers yearround, keeping staff and volunteers "Red Cross Ready" ;)

Friday, October 9, 2009

Fire Prevention Week

Congratulations to Mr. Brad Jones, winner of an American Red Cross Disaster Kit. As part of Fire Prevention Week, chapter employees were given a goody bag containing fire safety and prevention tips, a 9-volt battery, LAC magnet and an Emergency Preparedness Checklist.

Everyone was asked to draw out their home emergency escape plans using the checklist floor plan. They labeled multiple exits and windows as well as smoke alarms, fire extinguishers, disaster kits and first aid kits.

Even though Fire Prevention Week is almost over, it's never too late to safeguard your residence against fires.

Create your own emergency escape plan, indentifying two ways out of every room and a designated meeting spot outside. Install smoke alarms on every floor, inside bedrooms and sleeping areas, and don't forget to test them once a month and replace batteries as needed.

With that said, Happy Fire Safety Month!

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

CPR to the Rescue!

Above: Bullitt/Spencer County Red Cross manager Mike Crenshaw presents Mr. Hollis Cope with a certificate of recognition.

Outstanding Citizen. That’s what a certificate awarded to Mr. Hollis Cope read Tuesday morning during Bullitt County Fiscal Court. Cope, a resident of Mt. Washington, Ky., was recognized by the American Red Cross and members of the Fiscal Court for the “Extraordinary Personal Action” taken when he saved Mr. Danny Perkins, a fellow Calvary Christian Church member, using CPR on August 30.

After finding no signs of life, Cope administered CPR until EMS arrived. Having recently taken a CPR course, I can tell you how much work it takes to perform CPR for even just a couple of minutes, but the outcome can be extremely rewarding. Perkins is now fully recovered and on a family vacation in Florida.

Cope was trained in CPR at the Bullitt/Spencer County American Red Cross by Les Taylor, a trainer who has volunteered his skills and services to the chapter for over 25 years. Below is a list of upcoming CPR classes at the chapter located in Shepherdsville. Sign up by calling (502) 955-6259, and learn how you can change a life.

• Nov. 9 – Adult CPR/AED 6-10 pm
• Nov. 10 – Child/Infant CPR 6-10 pm
• Nov. 12 – First Aid 6-10 pm

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Information, Retention, and Inspiration. An Americorps kickoff

The members of Americorps drove to Lexington, Thursday, to go through training and officially kick off the year of public service for their respective posts.

The banquet hall was larger than I expected. There were Americorps from various locations and organizations. It felt like our own little United Nations.

We sat at our table and listened to the head of the Americorps in KY. and watched the posting of colors before we ate.

After we ate we had a motivational speaker, Jay McChord, talk to us about making a difference. He talked to us about his life. He also talked to us about who we were and what we could do.

After McChord was done talking we broke to check in and rest some before we started our training.

The three classes I chose for kickoff were "Working with the Media" presented by Angela Baldridge, "Disaster Preparedness" by David Clark, and "Prevent ,Prepare, and Respond," by Joe Proctor.

I took the media class on Thursday and the other two on Friday.

During the weekend I bonded with my coworkers, received training and made a pledge to do my best to represent Americorps and the Red Cross.

The weekend ended with Hasan Davis telling us his life story. As McChord, he told us how we will make a difference. I have to say, it was moving and gave me a stronger sense of purpose.

So I will spend the next year doing my best to help my community, to represent the Red Cross and Americorps in a positive light and leave knowing I made my little part of America a little bit better...