Rock River Chapter Offers Preventative Influenza Tips

April 30, 2009

Influenza, also known as the flu, is a contagious respiratory disease caused by different strains of viruses. In the United States, there is a flu season that begins every fall and ends every spring. The type of flu people get during this season is called seasonal flu. Flu viruses spread from person to person when people who are infected cough or sneeze. Adults may be able to infect others 1 day before getting symptoms and as long as 5 days after getting sick.

Click below for tips from the Rock River Chapter

Seasonal Flu Checklist


A Co-Worker is in Danger…Could You Help?

January 22, 2009

Take the Red Cross PopQuiz Challenge to Find Out!

1. The Cardiac Chain of Survival consists of a sequence of steps that are activated in response to an emergency in which a person suffers sudden cardiac arrest. Each link in the chain is critical. Put the links in the Cardiac Chain of Survival in the correct order.

1) Early defibrillation — delivers an electrical shock to the heart with an automated external defibrillator (AED)
2) Early advanced medical care — a team of medical professionals arrives and takes over by providing advanced care and transport to a medical facility
3) Early CPR — keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs
4) Early recognition and early access — a bystander recognizes an emergency and calls 9-1-1 or the local emergency number

A. 1, 3, 2, 4
B. 3, 2, 4, 1
C. 4, 3, 1, 2

Answer: C. As a responder, you must first recognize an emergency before the rest of the Cardiac Chain of Survival can be put into motion. Early access to care is an important component to a successful outcome. Out of the remaining options in the list, early CPR is next. CPR keeps oxygenated blood flowing to the brain and other vital organs and tissues. Early defibrillation with an AED (automated external defibrillator) is the third step out of those listed. An AED administers a shock that can allow the heart to restore an effective rhythm. In many states, AEDs are now available in public places for use by trained laypersons. Early advanced medical care is the next step. In this step, a team of emergency medical personnel provides care at the scene and transports the person to a hospital.
2.  A person is unconscious. Put the following steps in the correct order:

1) Tap the person and shout
2) Open airway
3) Check for signs of life (movement and normal breathing)
4) Check the scene for safety

A) 3, 2, 1, 4
B) 3, 2, 4, 1
C) 4, 1, 2, 3
D) 1, 3, 1, 2

Answer: C. When an emergency happens, Check-Call-Care are the three basic steps for you to take. As a responder, you must always check to make sure the scene is safe for you and any bystanders. Next, call your local emergency number for help. Then care for the person. Always care for life-threatening emergencies before those that are not life-threatening. The ABCs, which stands for airway, breathing and circulation, will aid you in determining what care the person needs. Determine if the person’s airway is open. Check for signs of life (movement and normal breathing).

3. If a choking person is coughing forcefully, what should you do?

A) Pat the person on the back forcefully
B) Give abdominal thrusts
C) Encourage the person to continue coughing
D) None of the above

Answer: C. If the person is coughing forcefully, he or she may cough the object up, eliminating the need for you to give care. Use a combination of back blows and abdominal thrusts when the person cannot cough forcefully, speak or breathe.

4. CPR is a combination of —

A) Chest compressions and abdominal thrusts
B) Chest compressions and rescue breaths
C) Abdominal thrusts and finger sweeps
D) Rescue breaths and abdominal thrusts

Answer: B. Chest compressions help to circulate blood containing oxygen to the vital organs. Rescue breaths supply the blood with oxygen until advanced medical personnel arrive and take over. When giving CPR, give cycles of 30 compressions and 2 rescue breaths. Continue CPR until —

  • Another trained responder takes over CPR for you.
  • Emergency medical services (EMS) personnel arrive and take over care of the person.
  • An automated external defibrillator (AED) becomes available.
  • You are exhausted and unable to continue.
  • The scene becomes unsafe.
  • Signs of life return.

5. You come upon a person who has pale or bluish skin color, cold skin and dull or sunken eyes. These are symptoms of which medical emergency?

A) High fever
B) Shock
C) Heart attack
D) None of the above

Answer: B, shock. Even if a person’s injuries aren’t life threatening, the person can go into shock and possibly die. Shock occurs when the person’s organs and tissues don’t get an enough of blood or oxygen. The person may be unconscious, but not always. Call for emergency help first, then follow these steps:

  • Maintain an open airway for breathing
  • Control obvious bleeding
  • Elevate the legs about 12 inches, unless the injury makes that impossible
  • maintain normal body temperature (prevent person from getting chilled or overheated)
  • Keep the person on his or her back, unless the person vomits (move person onto his or her side at that point).

How well did you do?

Knowing CPR and first aid can save a life.  Enroll in training today by contacting your local Red Cross Chapter at (815) 963-8471


Homeless Shelters Crowd With Cold & Bad Economy

January 15, 2009

The following article was reported on Rockford’s News Channel 23 – WIFR on 1/14/2009

Weather like this makes us thankful to be indoors and that’s how area homeless are feeling as they crowd local shelters to escape the frigid cold.

“I appreciate it very much,” says one man checking into the Red Cross downtown Rockford shelter.

Appreciation is all the Red Cross needs in exchange for a hot meal and a warm bed and as the temperature plummets below zero, it’s a full house, with 49 people planning to stay at the overnight shelter on Cedar Street in downtown Rockford.

Several people said they didn’t even want to think about where they would be without this shelter.

“Underneath a bridge or making a fire down but the river or something,” says one overnight resident.

Another adds, “I really believe that God takes care of his children so I am thankful to him and to this place.”

And these days the cold isn’t the only thing driving people to area shelters. Red Cross volunteers say more people are coming in saying they’ve lost their jobs and can’t afford rent anymore.

“I hear more and more people say that they’ve never stayed in a shelter before. So it’s not the usual people that you would see,” says Red Cross Volunteer Nancy Burkett.

Betty Irelan falls in that category. Even though she struggles with diabetes, she says she’s been working since she was ten, but recently hit job troubles and has been unemployed since June.

“So I went like seven months without any money and finally the landlord got upset and evicted me last Friday,” says Irelan.

And even as more people are in need of help, it’s harder for the Red Cross to meet that need, because donations are down. They especially need warm socks and toiletries.

But workers say even when they fill up, they’ll never leave someone out in the cold.

“Everyone deserves to have a warm safe place to stay,” says Burkett.

I also spoke with a man who said he actually has a full time job, but he said he would still be out on the street without the Red Cross.

If you need help from the Red Cross, or you would like to make a donation, call 815-963-8471, or visit http://www.rockriver.redcross.org.


Bill Bell: Disaster Action Team Update from the Field

January 7, 2009

Report from Bill Bell American Red Cross – Rock River Chapter Disaster Services:

The American Red Cross – Rock River Chapter Disaster Action Team responded early Tuesday Morning to a fire on Kenmore in Rockford. Red Cross provided assistance to a family of four for food, clothing, and temporary shelter.

Click here to see a story about it on WREX


Something Else to Add to Your Emergency Prepardness Kit – Tetris!

January 7, 2009
Photo by Micah Taylor

Photo by Micah Taylor

Something else to think about when putting together an emergency preparedness kit. Click here to learn what you should have in your kit according to the Red Cross. Below is part of an article from the Telegraph in the UK.

British researchers found that playing the popular computer game shortly after the trauma helped wipe out the bad memories and reduce distressing flashbacks.

The psychologists from Oxford University believe the discovery could lead to new treatments for accident victims in hospitals as well as those involved in war zones.

“This is only a first step in showing that this might be a viable approach to preventing post traumatic stress disorder,’ said Dr Emily Holmes of the Department of Psychiatry at Oxford University, who led the work.

Click here to read the rest of the article.


Red Cross Shelter Work Shows ‘real need’ [from rrstar.com]

January 5, 2009

By Chris Green, Rockford Register Star

During the past four months, Dave Dinges has become quite familiar with the daily operations of the Cedar Street Red Cross Homeless Shelter and the vital role it plays in the community.

The Stenstrom General Contracting employee served as project manager of the agency’s recently completed $330,000 expansion and renovation project. However, Dinges said it was during the construction process when the project took on a special meaning for him. A woman looking to house a mother and her children mistook him as an employee of the shelter and made a request:

“This woman was looking for a place for them to stay,” he said. “That’s when I had my eyes opened to what the real need was here in Rockford – providing shelter to those who have no place to go.”

Dinges oversaw the completion of a 1,550-square-foot addition, which included a new heating and air-conditioning system, a larger dining and activity room, an area to prepare food, and plenty of storage space for donated clothing and supplies. More importantly, the former dining room was remodeled and has been designated to serve entire families, something Red Cross officials say they are encountering more of on a daily basis.

The shelter office also was expanded and equipped with new computers, filing cabinets and a one-on-one case management room.

Going the extra mile
However, Pat Ambrose, the shelter’s service coordinator, said she was most appreciative of the extra work provided by Dinges and his 16-year-old son, Eric.

When Dinges wasn’t on-site, he was in the community gathering thousands of dollars in donations, such as benches from Spider Manufacturing. The metal seats were installed in a newly created and heated waiting room.

He also gathered office furniture from Michaelsen Office Furniture in Machesney Park.

His son spent part of his Christmas break also in the community gathering donations from area businesses collecting 20 Rubbermaid large plastic tubs, most of which were filled with new bed linen, new socks and hats.

“They had this large storage space, and it was empty,” Eric said. “I just decided to go around and see if I could get someone to help fill it.”

‘A lot more room’
Richard Wooten, 42, and his fiancee, Kira Rhodes, and their 11-month-old daughter, Ameliana, have lived at the 48-bed shelter off and on for several months.

They said the expansion couldn’t have come at a better time.

“It’s not congested in here now,” Wooten said.

Rhodes added: “There’s a lot more room and privacy now. The problem I had before was getting (Ameliana) to go to sleep at night with all the noise. That’s been eliminated.”

Since its opening in 1995, the shelter has housed more than 6,600 individuals, and more than 1,500 people have found permanent housing with assistance from the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross.

Staff writer Chris Green can be reached at cgreen@rrstar.com or 815-987-1241.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM Kira Rhodes and Richard Wooten stand with their 11-month-old daughter, Ameliana Rhodes-Wooten, in a family area where Rhodes and her daughter have been staying Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes a larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms. The shelter policy is for men to sleep in the mens area, even if they are in the shelter with their family.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM Kira Rhodes and Richard Wooten stand with their 11-month-old daughter, Ameliana Rhodes-Wooten, in a family area where Rhodes and her daughter have been staying Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes a larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms. The shelter policy is for men to sleep in the men's area, even if they are in the shelter with their family.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM Eric Dinges (right), 16, and his father, Dave Dinges, stand in a new storage room Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes a larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms. Eric volunteered to solicit donations to the Red Cross by asking local businesses to contribute.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM Eric Dinges (right), 16, and his father, Dave Dinges, stand in a new storage room Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes a larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms. Eric volunteered to solicit donations to the Red Cross by asking local businesses to contribute.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM A new dining area Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes the larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms.

SCOTT MORGAN | RRSTAR.COM A new dining area Tuesday, Dec. 30, 2008, at the Red Cross Homeless Shelter in Rockford. The shelter recently completed a $330,000 addition, which includes the larger dining area. The old dining area has been divided into three family rooms.

Click here to see the article on rrstar.com


Bill Bell: Disaster Action Team Update from the Field

January 5, 2009

Report from Bill Bell American Red Cross – Rock River Chapter Disaster Services:

There were two fire calls this weekend both in Ogle County, Illinois:

  1. The first was on Jan. 1, 2009 we were contacted by the Byron Fire Department. The Disaster Action Team (DAT) contacted owner who indicated that the family had a place to stay and had no other immediate needs.
  2. The second call was on Saturday Jan. 3, 2009 from the Dixon Fire Department a fire on South Lost Nation Road in Ogle County. Insurance adjuster was already on scene when DAT member arrived and no assistance was requested.

In both cases the Families were advised to contact the Chapter if they were in need of further assistance.


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