First aid volunteers are first on the scene – British Red Cross

November 21, 2008

The Red Cross helps people all around the world. Below is a story how first aid helped when a diabetic teenager collapsed in his remote rural home in their countryside home in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland.

Originally posted on

When a diabetic teenager collapsed in his remote rural home, a Red Cross first aider was able to reach the scene in minutes – thanks to the first responder scheme.

Volunteer Louise Johnston was on hand to respond very soon after 15-year-old Luke Wallace became suddenly unwell at his countryside home in Irvinestown, Northern Ireland.

She was able to reach him so quickly due to the Red Cross’ first responder scheme, where local first aid volunteers work in partnership with the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service (NIAS) to provide fast emergency help.

Under the scheme, volunteers in the Irvinestown area are alerted to category one calls at the same time as the ambulance service. This means that, following an emergency call-out, they can often reach the scene first and provide life-saving help until an ambulance arrives.

Quick response

Looking back on the frightening experience (which happened last month), Sharon Wallace – Luke’s mother – remembered: “Since Luke is diabetic, we were worried that he didn’t have a lot of time. Then while we were waiting for the ambulance, Louise arrived at the door.

“She got here very quickly and did a fantastic job of looking after Luke by checking his blood sugar and his temperature. She also helped reassure the rest of us and keep us calm because we were all panicking! And when the ambulance arrived, Louise explained the situation and handed it over to them.”

The grateful mum added: “Louise did a great job and I am really glad she was there. The first responder scheme was a great help and I’m sure it will help a lot of people.”

Crucial first minutes

The Red Cross first responders all live within five miles of Irvinestown and are trained to use an Automatic External Defibrillator (AED), which can be critical in the first few minutes following a heart attack or collapse.

John Wright, rapid response manager for the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service, said: “Responding to 999 emergencies in a city centre is easy as vehicles can be deployed and reach casualties within a couple of minutes.

“However, in rural and isolated areas such as Irvinestown, it’s much more difficult for ambulances to locate casualties and negotiate their way down narrow country lanes, so average response times are more like ten to twelve minutes.”

He added: “The first response volunteers are very valuable to us and their local communities because they can provide vital emergency first aid while the casualty waits for the ambulance.”

If you’d like to take a Health & Safety Class from the American Red Cross please go to if you’re in the Rock River Region or to find your local Red Cross go to


Ready, Set, Go – Set Your DVRs: the Red Cross is on NBC’s Today Show on Monday

October 17, 2008

Ever wanted to see an example of someone building a first aid kit? Showing the latest CPR and AED techniques?

If you’ve got a TV, you’re in luck! Our own Connie Harvey will appear on NBC’s Today Show next Monday morning as part of their “First Aid Today” series.

  • Who: Connie Harvey
  • What: The Today Show First Aid Today series
  • When: Monday, October 20, 2008 between 8:30 and 9:00 a.m. E.T.
  • Where: Your local NBC station

If you don’t have a TV (and even if you do), log on to the Today Show website to see Red Cross First Aid/CPR/AED courses and materials featured.

First reported on Red Cross Chat

First Aid in Action – Marketing/Development Specialist Jason Broaddus of the Red Cross – Rock River Chapter with Audio

September 26, 2008
The day I started working at the Red Cross was the day I purchased a first aid kit for my car. Thinking to myself, I will probably never have to use this kit, but it doesn’t hurt to always be prepared and ready. So, one night as I was driving home and stopped in Rochelle, Illinois for some gas and while waiting in line to pay a lady walked in looking distressed and holding her thumb.

So, while in line she asked the attendant if they had any bandages or splints, they didn’t really have anything for her. I responded to her saying “I have a first aid kit in my car and I work for the Red Cross.” “I can help if you need it.” At that moment it was inspiring to see her face change from panic to a much more calm state after I told her I could help and I was with the Red Cross.

We walked out to my car and I got my first aid kit out. I bandaged up her thumb and then wrapped it up to make sure there was some pressure on her thumb to help brace her thumb and help with any bleeding. She thanked me and was happy she can go home and put her 3 year old son to bed who was waiting in the car.

Listen to the audio from that night I recorded on my way home via Utterli in the player below.

Mobile post sent by broaddusj using Utterlireply-count Replies.  mp3

DID YOU KNOW: We can train you on CPR/AED & First Aid at your House?

September 10, 2008

The title of this post pretty much says it all.  We CAN train you in First, CPR/AED at your house, church, backyard, or anywhere else you can find some space.  The Red Cross will send out an Instructor, Books, Manikins, and all the supplies you may need.  The only thing you need is: A minimum of 8 people and place for us to conduct the class!  It’s really that simple!

This is a great thing for new mothers and fathers, for church groups, after school organization, or a Club.  But the possibilities are truly endless!

Our classes start at $50/participant.  So call me, Rahil, today at (815) 963-8471

Sign Up for Red Cross Health & Safety Classes Online!

July 24, 2008


Signing up for Health & Safety Classes at the Red Cross Rock River Chapter just got easier. You can now sign up for Health & Safety classes online on our website 24 hours a day 7 days a week. Just click the class you’d like to sign up for and you’re in! It can’t get any easier.

Just click this link and sign-up today!

Family First Aid and Preparedness – New Release

May 16, 2008

The fourth volume in the Be Red Cross Ready Safety Series, A Family Guide to First Aid and Emergency Preparedness provides crucial information needed during a medical emergency or regional disaster, and also serves as a resource parents can use to teach their children how to respond to these types of emergencies. The tabbed, full color reference guide also includes a companion DVD that enhances learning with demonstrations of the steps needed to prepare for and respond to an emergency. The guide takes a positive approach to learning, and fun interactive activities get the whole family involved. Topics include:

  • Preventing injuries
  • How to respond to medical emergencies
  • Creating a family emergency preparedness plan
  • Assembling an emergency preparedness kit
  • Activity pages to help parents present preparedness information to children
  • Special instructions for specific disasters
  • Purchase this new guide online at My Red Cross Store

    Compression Only – First Aid and CPR for Everyone

    May 14, 2008

    As part of a national campaign encouraging Americans to Be Red Cross Ready, the American Red Cross has developed the First Aid and CPR for Everyone kit — an at-home tool for practicing compression-only Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).

    The First Aid and CPR for Everyone kit is a portable, reasonably priced practice tool that can be used at home, in the office, in classrooms or anywhere it is convenient to practice your skills. The box set features an illustrated guide to demonstrate hand placement on the chest and a compression practice tool to help measure just the right amount of pressure needed to properly administer chest compressions.

    Other items included in the kit are the full-length DVD and Emergency First Aid Guide. The kit also includes a full-length instructional DVD, featuring Super Bowl XLI MVP Peyton Manning, with easy to follow outlines for basic first aid, building a first aid kit, warning signs of a stroke and what to do in a cardiac emergency. The accompanying Red Cross Emergency First Aid Guide is a useful tool to quickly reference the skills demonstrated on the DVD. As a bonus, the kit comes with the Emergency Action Steps Wallet Card, which offers instructions and a full pictorial on how to help someone suffering a cardiac emergency.

    As the nation’s leading provider of CPR training, the Red Cross developed the First Aid and CPR for Everyone kit in order to address the merits of compression-only CPR and the public’s concern for performing rescue breathing. While this innovative product is not intended to replace the skills learned or the certification gained by participating in a Red Cross training course, the product does allow the public to become familiar with relevant lifesaving information and skills.

    Put a new spin on your next holiday party or family get-together by throwing a CPR Party. Across the nation people are replacing the usual party games with CPR parties that are not only fun but help everyone learn potentially lifesaving skills. First Aid and CPR for Everyone makes a great party favor for people of all ages.

    First Aid and CPR for Everyone, along with other unique holiday gifts, can be purchased online through the local Red Cross Chapter or online at

    To find out how to receive full Red Cross First Aid and CPR/ Automated External Defibrillator (AED) training and certification, contact your local chapter at 815.963.8471

    The American Red Cross helps people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies. Last year, almost a million volunteers and 35,000 employees helped victims of almost 75,000 disasters; taught lifesaving skills to millions; and helped U.S. service members separated from their families stay connected. Almost 4 million people gave blood through the Red Cross, the largest supplier of blood and blood products in the United States. The American Red Cross is part of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement. An average of 91 cents of every dollar the Red Cross spends is invested in humanitarian services and programs. The Red Cross is not a government agency; it relies on donations of time, money, and blood to do its work.

    SOURCE American Red Cross