Jamell Fetter had not yet received First Aid/CPR/AED training from the American Red Cross through his employer, Estes Express Lines. But the Toledo man had already used CPR to save a co-worker’s life.
“I sat in on classes with my sisters and my friends who had to do all their certifications online,” he said. “I never had any formal training. Just watching the videos.”
Jamell said he was at a company lunch event in September, 2020 when he saw coworker Mark Benschoter on the floor, lifeless.
“I wasn’t thinking about it until afterwards, and I just knew he needed help, and I was there.”
Mark is back on the job, working every day with Jamell. “He is my personal security guard,” Mark said. “Every time we have a function, people will not let him go home until I do. He has to stay until I leave.”
After learning of Jamell’s lifesaving actions, company officials asked the Red Cross to provide First Aid/CPR/AED training to all managers, supervisors and directors at its facilities across the country.
“It’s a great project,” said Tom Zahler, director of corporate training and development for Estes Express Lines, based in Richmond, Virginia. “We’re really grateful we’re partnering with the Red Cross.”
Tom visited Toledo on the day Jamell was presented with the certificate of extraordinary personal action at the headquarters of the Red Cross of Western Lake Erie in Toledo. The award is presented to individuals for selfless and humane action using lifesaving skills.
“We’re training supervisors and above to be sure that someone on every shift, every day is available, should another event like this happen.”
Although Jamell isn’t at the supervisor level, he is being included in the training being provided by Estes Express Lines.
“It’s working,” Tom said. “We hear stories all the time about people who are there when something happens.”
By Samantha Pudelski, American Red Cross volunteer
World Humanitarian Day is a day when we are all encouraged to come together and advocate for the well-being, survival and dignity of people who have experienced or are experiencing crisis around the world. This year’s theme from the United Nations is “It Takes A Village”—reminding us that whenever there are people in crisis, there are others who are there to help them. This year, they shine a light on the hundreds of thousands of volunteers, professionals and crisis-affected people who deliver urgent health care, shelter, food, protection, water and much more.
It’s a perfect day to recognize the thousands of dedicated volunteers and workers of the American Red Cross. They deliver lifesaving assistance every hour of every day, responding to an average of more than 60,000 disasters every year.
As we reflect on the meaning of this day, we are also encouraged to take action as humanitarians ourselves. This World Humanitarian Day, the Northern Ohio Region of the Red Cross has five ways you can give back and help to make the world a better place.
Donate Blood Did you know that every two seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood or platelets? Giving back by donating blood can help ensure those who are in need of blood transfusions, including individuals undergoing surgery, cancer treatment, treatment for chronic illness and traumatic injuries.
If you are able to donate blood, it is a relatively easy process – It only takes about one hour and 15 minutes, with the actual donation of whole blood taking approximately eight to ten minutes. Individuals can donate blood more than once per year. you can donate every In most states, donors can start donating at age 17 and some states allowing 16-year-olds to donate with a signed parental consent form. You also must be at least 110 pounds and be in good health. Blood donor drives are held at locations throughout Northern Ohio. To find an upcoming blood drive near you, click here.
Volunteer Volunteering your time for a cause you believe in can have a huge impact on your community and the world. The Red Cross offers a variety of ways that you can give back depending on your skills, interests and time available. In fact, 90% of the Red Cross workforce are volunteers. They support areas such as blood drives, blood donation transports, health, mental health and spiritual needs, administrative support roles, supporting our armed forces and working with those who affected by natural disasters.
Make a Donation Many non-profit organizations rely on generous donations from supporters. For many organizations, every dollar donated makes a difference. Some organizations, like the Red Cross, provide other ways for individuals to donate in addition to financial contributions.
Learn a Lifesaving Skill The Red Cross has been teaching emergency and safety training for more than a century. You can learn first aid, be trained in administering CPR or using an AED, to be prepared for when a need for these skills arises. You can review and sign up for a class here.
Advocate Advocacy is an important way you can be a humanitarian. In order to advocate, it is equally important to educate yourself on the topics, organizations or causes you would like to advance. Here are a few simple ways you can get started.
Follow organizations on social media. For example, you can follow the Red Cross and the Northern Ohio Region of the Red Cross on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn and TikTok just to name a few. Not only do they post facts and updates about the work that they are doing, but they also provide links for more information. Participate in events like Turn and Test and other events that help to spread the word about a particular cause. Share information with friends and family and learn about causes that they are passionate about.
Read about the work of three Red Cross humanitarians here.
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.
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.
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