I am training future lifesavers: Michelle

Lifesavers and survivors from the past decade with Kay Wilkins, CEO of the Southeast Louisiana Chapter

“100 Years of American Red Cross Lifesaving Education: A Century of Excellence.” That is what we celebrated yesterday here at the American Red Cross.  March is Red Cross Month and we had a press conference followed by a reception to kick-it-off here at SELA.

We invited lifesavers and survivors from the past decade to join us and I was fortunate enough to make some of those invitation phone calls. I spent an afternoon calling the different lifesavers and survivors, “I understand that you are a life saver!” I would say.  “That’s right! I am!” would be their enthusiastic response. All were very appreciative of the invitation to the event. I became familiar with each person’s story. Our Health and Safety director has a collection of pictures and stories from the lifesavers and the survivors, she knows them all, and is very excited to share them with me. I am just as excited to hear them…

collection of pictures and stories from the lifesavers and the survivors

I heard about the little boy who had gotten his arm taken off by an alligator and two men in the area cared for the wound, got him to safety, and saved his life. I heard about the three-year-old girl who was choking and her ten-year-old cousin who saved her with the Heimlich maneuver he had recently learned in a BAT (Basic Aid Training) class. I heard about the grandfather that had a heart attack and his grandson who gave him CPR. I saw them both in celebration yesterday. I heard about the man who jumped into a vehicle to give rescue breaths to a young child that had stopped breathing before they reached EMS. I was lucky enough to hand that 10-year old boy a piece of cake!

Our CEO said that over 42,000 people were trained in CPR and First Aid last year in Southeast Louisiana. That’s a lot, but not enough. Hearing and reading story after story of the incidents and successes made me realize the importance of proper training. Being in the Health and Safety department I frequently train people in Southeast Louisiana. Each CPR or First Aid class that I teach is not just another certification card for students to show their employers – I am training future lifesavers. The next story could include you… come on over and get trained!

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About AmeriCorps NPRC: New Orleans

NPRC MISSION The National Preparedness and Response Corps aims to provide vital emergency assistance to communities affected by disaster. NPRC members support the humanitarian activities of the Red Cross while providing integrated community outreach and education through local chapters. Before the disasters strike, members work to increase resiliency and preparedness in the areas of greatest need. NPRC HISTORY Originally called the Emergency Response Volunteer Network, the NPRC program was founded in 1994 by the Los Angeles Chapter in response to the Northridge Earthquake. In 1997, the program expanded to 6 Red Cross chapters and became an AmeriCorps National program. Since then, the program has adapted its mission to include not only disaster response, but also emergency preparedness and capacity building. NPRC currently serves in over 20 regions across the country. PROGRAM REQUIREMENTS: Must be at least 18 years of age Must be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident Complete 10.5 months (1,700 hrs) of service Be on-call for emergency responses on a rotational, week long schedule that includes evenings and weekends BENEFITS OF SERVICE: Health insurance Childcare benefits Living stipend SNAP eligibility Educational award of $5,550 Awards of service Member service and development days Leadership opportunities In-depth training for Red Cross activities such as: first aid/CPR, mass care, bulk distribution, client casework, disaster assessment and psychological first aid Comprehensive education on the fields of disaster response and emergency management Amazing networking opportunities For more information on AmeriCorps: www.AmeriCorps.gov For more information on AmeriCorps NPRC contact the New Orleans NPRC Supervisor: Carolanne.Fernandez@RedCross.org For more information on the life of an NPRC member, check out the New Orleans team: www.Facebook.com/nprcLA RedCrossSELAnprc.wordpress.com
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One Response to I am training future lifesavers: Michelle

  1. Kay Wilkins says:

    Michelle,
    Of all the times I have spent in the Red Cross, those memories that stick with me are the stories from persons who have saved a life using skills taught by us. How awesome it is to be a lifesaver…and how humbling!

    Thanks for being our lifesaver this year, yourself! You’ve shown up….regardless. You’ve pitched in…regardless. You’ve taken charge…regardless.

    You’ve changed lives….regardless.

    You are my lifesaver…and I am so very humbled!

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