You’re never too old to learn new tricks

It’s National Online Learning Day – September 15

By Doug Bardwell, Red Cross Volunteer

Albert Einstein is reported to have stated, “Once you stop learning, you start dying.” Well, assuming that’s not in your immediate plans, I’d suggest some of the less obvious, but very rewarding learning opportunities to all Red Cross volunteers.

I’m not referring to the voluminous number of classes on how to be a disaster, or blood, or SAF volunteer, but rather, skills you’ll use at home or outside of your Red Cross activities. And they are available online – whenever you’ve got some free time.

Two shockers for me

I used to drive competitively in Sports Car Club of America national events, so I always considered myself one of the better drivers on the road. But, despite that, I picked up some invaluable information in the Defensive Driving class available on Edge. Learning how to adjust rear view mirrors turned out to be a game changer for me.

Another class I took was Basic Food Safety. While I knew you should always wash hands before handling food, it turns out there is an incredible amount of science in handling food safely. From being aware of food serving and storage temperatures, to how easily germs can become foodborne was a real eye-opener.

More unique classes

Ever meet someone that has just lost a loved one or received some terrible health news? We all have. Did you know what to say? (Or, in my case, what NOT to say?) The Psychological First Aid: Helping Others in Times of Stress training will certainly come in handy. It did for me.

Or heaven forbid, you find yourself in an active shooter situation – there’s actually training for how to survive. Look for IS-907: Active Shooter – What You Can Do. Or watch the video: RUN. HIDE. FIGHT. Surviving an Active Shooter Event.

Plus, everyone should know CPR and basic first aid – so yes, those classes are available online also.

Even more skill development classes

Thinking about learning new job skills or need a refresher on computer skills? With the addition of Precipio classes available to all volunteers, just look at all the classes you
might enjoy.

The opportunities are there. All you have to do is give them a try. Classes are available to watch, to read, and as audiobooks. They are all free, so if you find they aren’t right for you – no harm, no foul.

And if you aren’t a Red Cross volunteer already – you should be. Start that process right here.

Stock photo by @thoughtcatalog on Unsplash.com

Posted by Ryan Lang, Red Cross board member and volunteer

Students can develop skills and help communities over summer break

By Tim Poe, American Red Cross volunteer

On this blog, we have been fortunate to share the achievements and life stories of several extraordinary individuals in Northern Ohio. These include several young people who have applied life-saving skills learned from the American Red Cross, like Alexis Starnes and Travis Shrout, organized a blood drive, like Andrew Lazowski, and worked as advocates, like Makenzie Nance. There are many others who have assisted their communities, helped save lives, developed skills that will help them throughout their lives and careers, and built lasting friendships.

If you are a student, recent graduate, or parent searching for activities during the summer break, the Red Cross offers an array of classes and volunteer opportunities.

Red Cross classes are offered throughout the summer in online, in-person, and blended formats. The Red Cross encourages everyone to learn first aid, CPR, and how to use an AED. Time is critical during a cardiac arrest; chances of survival double or triple if CPR is administered or an AED is used within the first few minutes.

June 22, 2018. Washington, DC. CPR stock photos by Roy Cox for the American Red Cross.

In addition, the Red Cross offers Babysitting Training for students between 11 and 15 years of age. Advanced Child Care courses are available for students 16 years and older. The babysitting classes feature topics such as choosing age-appropriate activities, basic child care (including bottle feeding), child behavior, leadership, professionalism, safety, starting a babysitting business, and more. These courses also cover emergency and first aid skills such as bee stings, allergic reactions, asthma, burns and choking. Advanced Child Care course participants learn the most common child care routines and behavior along with safety inside and outside the home, including driving with children and water safety.

For those seeking to volunteer, opportunities are available depending on age, such as assisting or organizing blood drives, participating in Red Cross Clubs, even streaming to help support Red Cross disaster relief efforts.

Northern Ohio volunteer opportunities are here. Blood Donor Ambassadors are especially needed.

If you are interested in organizing a blood drive, and possibly earning a scholarship, please see the Leaders Save Lives page.

Additional information is available on the Red Cross Youth page.

Blood donors are also needed. If you are 17 or older (16 with parental/guardian consent in some cases), please consider donating. Information for teen donors is here.

My first experience with the Red Cross was assisting a blood drive at my high school and learning CPR. While that was decades ago, the experience and skills have had a positive influence ever since, helping instill a desire to assist others and leading to volunteering as an adult. I have also been fortunate to work alongside many dedicated, caring people. It began with a Red Cross sign-up sheet (I predate the internet) and a willingness to learn and help.

Posted by Ryan Lang, American Red Cross volunteer and board member

Who me? Learn AED during CPR AED Week 2022

By Doug Bardwell, Red Cross volunteer

June 22, 2018. Washington, DC. CPR stock photos by Roy Cox for the American Red Cross.

Today, June 7th marks the end of National CPR and AED Awareness Week. What . . . you don’t even know what AED is? It stands for Automated External Defibrillator – more commonly seen as the paddles that doctors, nurses or paramedics use to resuscitate someone whose heart has stopped pumping. But you, too, could quickly learn to use them to save someone’s life.

As more businesses, recreation centers, swimming pools, movie theaters, etc., have AEDs available, wouldn’t it be great if you knew how to use them? Through American Red Cross-sponsored classes, you can, and in just one class.

I took a CPR and AED class at the Red Cross headquarters in downtown Cleveland last year, and it was a fun and easy refresher for the courses I had taken three years earlier. (They suggest every two years for refreshers — my bad.)

A series of related classes can be taken individually or combined, pertaining to your needs. Some people need certification for construction job site requirements, while others might need it for school, but there are class combinations for everyone. CPR and AED are ideally taken together.

Online-only classes can be found here, but I’d highly suggest combining online and in-person courses – referred to as blended learning. Visit redcross.org/take-a-class and then input your desired location and select CPR or AED. You’ll likely find over 100 choices of classes.

February 21-22, 2018. Washington, DC CPR Classroom Stock Video and Photography Shoot 2018 Photos by Dennis Drenner/American Red Cross

A recent CPR/AED student, Steve Riv explained it this way: “I was worried it would be more video instruction and not so much hands-on. I actually really ended up loving the video modules, followed by the in-class instruction. Our instructor was very articulate in explaining the CPR and AED procedures. And, yes, you do get to practice with a “dummy.” I think that the instructor made something that can be mundane an enjoyable and memorable experience.”

Read more here, and schedule that class. More than one person thought they would never need the training but ended up saving someone’s life. Next time, it could be YOU.