Red Cross “This Could Be You…” – Video

October 31, 2008

Have you ever thought about becoming a Red Cross disaster volunteer?

If you’d like to volunteer for the Rock River Chapter go to of find your local chapter at


Red Cross “A Disaster Recovery Story” – Video

October 31, 2008

JoAnn’s home was flooded. See how the Red Cross has helped her recover.

New Two-Year Red Cross CPR/AED Certification Now Available!

October 31, 2008

Preparedness and Health and Safety Services conducted a review of the validity length of CPR certification for the professional rescuer based on requests from chapters. All CPR certifications were considered and it was determined that the change to a two-year CPR certificate validity period would be appropriate for professional rescuers other than lifeguards.

Professional rescuers other than lifeguards are in a position to use CPR/AED skills on a regular basis due to job responsibilities. The American Red Cross Advisory Council on First Aid, Aquatics, Safety and Preparedness (ACFASP) review of the scientific literature indicates formal retraining can be changed to a biennial occurrence for some rescuers. The review has indicated that skill and knowledge retention can be accomplished through a variety of methods including skills performance, retraining and skills refreshers. Lifeguards are excluded from the two-year certification due to the predominantly seasonal nature of their work. In addition, the American Red Cross Aquatic Examiner Service supports an annual training standard. Therefore, the certificate issued for lifeguards will be valid for one year.

The American Red Cross announces the following changes to the certificates and validity periods for the CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course.

  1. Certificates issued in a CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer course will now be valid for two years except for lifeguards whose certification will remain one year. The certificate issued for these courses will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for the Professional Rescuer and Healthcare Provider.
  2. The certificate issued to lifeguards will be a new certificate titled CPR/AED for Lifeguards, which is valid for one year.

Following both the scientific literature and OSHA recommendations, the Red Cross continues to strongly encourage all professional rescuers to retrain in CPR/AED annually and to refresh their skills at least every six months. The maintenance of skills and knowledge is achieved by a combination of course work including retraining, skills refreshers and application of these skills.

If you have questions about this change, contact Jess Paquette, Health & Safety Director of the Rock River Chapter at 815-963-8471 or e-mail

13 Lucky Last Minute Tips for a Safe Halloween

October 31, 2008

Ghouls and goblins will take over the night but even scary creatures need to be safe and celebrate Halloween right! Halloween’s greatest hazards aren’t vampires and villains, but falls, costume mishaps and automobile collisions. The American Red Cross wants your family to have a safe Halloween so we’re providing these tips, the lucky 13:

  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.

The Red Cross depends on the generous support of Rock River Valley residents to respond to our neighbors who are affected by residential fires. You can help the Red Cross be ready to respond and help fire victims by making a financial contribution to the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter. To make a financial donation please mail a check to American Red Cross Rock River Chapter at 727 N. Church Street, Rockford, IL 61103 or call (815) 963-8471, or donate online at

Hurricanes Ike and Gustav in Numbers – Video

October 31, 2008

American Red Cross Disaster Operations Summary Report (DOSR) for Hurricanes Ike and Gustav. August – October 2008.

Getting an AED is as easy as 1-2-3! Contact Red Cross!

October 30, 2008

You have probably seen AEDs in airports or at your local fitness center, but what about your workplace or other spots you frequent? Are there AEDs located anywhere? Have you seen them? Would you know what one looks like and how to use it in an emergency? Well…it’s time to check that out, and it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

Step # 1: You may be wondering what the abbreviation stands for. AED stands for Automated External Defibrillator. An AED is a device about the size of a small, laptop computer that analyzes the heart’s rhythm for any abnormalities and, if necessary, directs the rescuer to deliver an electrical shock to the victim. The shock, called defibrillation, may help the heart to reestablish an effective rhythm of its own. AEDs are easy to operate! They use voice prompts to instruct the rescuer. Once the machine is turned on, the rescuer is prompted to apply two pads (provided with the AED) to the victim’s chest. Once applied, the AED will begin to monitor the victim’s heart rhythm. If a “shockable” rhythm is detected, the machine will charge itself and instruct the rescuer to stand clear of the victim and to press the shock button.

Seems like a good device to have around, right?!? Well, get this! In the time it takes you to read this article, sudden cardiac arrest will have claimed another victim. Statistics show that more than 250,000 Americans die of sudden cardiac arrest every year. If someone initiates the Cardiac Chain of Survival, and an Automated External Defibrillator is available at the time of the emergency, up to 50,000 of these deaths could be prevented. AEDs are not just a good idea, they are a life-saving, essential device that should be available everywhere! Hopefully by now, we have covered the first step and you see the value of an AED.

Step # 2: Now you are ready to check your workplace, church, or other areas where you know an AED is needed. You might be the person in charge or you may need to gather with your boss, co-workers, friends, or others to decide to make the purchase, find the funding, etc. Who can you go to now that you are looking for further information and want to purchase? Look no further than the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross. We are here to help facilitate the placement of AEDs into your workplaces, community centers, and other places where large groups of people gather. We will provide more detail, demonstrations, and beyond to help you in acquiring an AED where you need one! Just call us at 815-963-8471, and make sure to reference this article.

Step # 3: If you get this far, you are on your way to a much safer place because you are getting an AED! However, there is this one last, crucial step: Get TRAINED! Yes…an AED is easy to use, but training is necessary in order to understand the role of defibrillation in the broader context of the cardiac chain of survival. Training in CPR and AED skills will enable YOU, the rescuer, to use all the steps, thereby significantly increasing the victim’s chance of survival. This is a huge part of what we will discuss with you after you make the decision to purchase.

It really is as easy as 1-2-3 so give us a call, and let’s talk further about making our community a little safer. Call 815-963-8471 or visit

Rock River Chapter Encourages Supporters to Send Support to Our Troops Overseas

October 30, 2008

On Tuesday, November 11 the American Red Cross will be on hand at the Veteran’s Day Open House at Veterans Memorial Hall, 211 N Main St Rockford, IL 61101. In addition to a program guided by the local chapter of Daughters of the American Revolution, group tours and Veterans History Project interviews the Red Cross will record VidiTalk web videos to forward to servicemen around the globe. From 9:00 to 11:00 a.m. and 2:00 to 6:00 p.m. family members can record a two minute streaming video which will then be emailed to their loved ones in the service overseas.

The Red Cross is a lifeline to members of the U.S. Armed Forces, sending communications all over the world on behalf of family members who are facing emergencies or other important events. “This project gives people the opportunity to send their support to our soldiers who, while valiantly serving our country, may need this boost from back home,” says Dr. Robert Willis, Executive Director of the Rock River Chapter of the American Red Cross.

VIDITalk is a powerful, cost effective, easily implemented solution to improve communications. It enables users to easily create and send high-quality personal video messages (VIDIs) from their computer to recipients on high-speed or dial-up connections. VIDI messages can also be streamed to cell phones and other wireless devices. The user creates a video message on their computer where it is automatically compressed, encoded, and sent to the hosting server. The VIDITalk server returns a hyperlink to the creator for placement into email, instant messages or any electronic document. Recipients click on the link and view the streamed video message in a customized playback screen using Microsoft Windows Media Player.

Memorial Hall is a living memorial to Veterans from all wars. It will serve as a constant reminder to the sacrifices given by brave men and women from Winnebago County, and a way for generations to remember and learn about their lives.

For more information on American Red Cross service to the U.S. Armed Forces please visit or call: (815) 963-8471.