Life Saved at Wilmington Pickleball Game

For members of the Cape Fear Pickleball Club, November 4, 2019, was an ordinary day of sport and fellowship. Until one of the members of the club who was preparing to take part in a match suddenly collapsed on the court.

Photos by New Hanover County, NC – https://flic.kr/s/aHsmP5oZRL

Jackie Sage, an off-duty registered nurse, responded immediately. She quickly dialed 9-1-1 to alert emergency personnel and took control of the scene. Jackie was joined by Rudy Thurman, a former respiratory therapist, who helped to assess the man. After the assessment, it was determined the he needed CPR. Rudy began chest compressions. Tammy Frieberg, also a registered nurse, came to aid the gentleman by audibly counting chest compressions as they were conducted. Once Rudy had begun to tire, Tammy relieved him and resumed compressions. Leigh Grainger assisted by providing rescue breathes in conjunction with the compressions. Jackie continued to control the scene while on the phone with 9-1-1.

The man was not responding, so Jackie sent a bystander, Kevin Devol, to obtain an AED. Kevin retrieved the AED with help from Malik Glaspie from the MLK Center. Once the AED had arrived, Jackie and Tammy connected the pads to his chest. The AED analyzed and suggested administering a shock. All stood clear as a shock was delivered. Emergency Medical Services arrived on scene as the shock was delivered.

Without a doubt, the skills learned in the American Red Cross Training Services course helped to sustain the life of this man. The American Red Cross is honored to award the lifesaving actions of these extraordinary individuals

For their heroic and lifesaving actions, Jackie Sage, Tammy Frieberg, Rudy Thurman, and Leigh LaGrange were awarded the following American Red Cross Lifesaving Awards at a ceremony on Friday, June 26, 2020, at Robert Strange Park in Wilmington, NC. The American Red Cross Cape Fear Executive Director James Jarvis and New Hanover County Emergency Manager Rob Zapple presented the awards to these deserving individuals.

The Certificate of Merit is the highest award given by the Red Cross to individuals who save or sustain a life using skills learned in a Red Cross Training Services course. “We’re extremely proud to present a Certificate of Merit to Jackie and Tammy,” said James Jarvis, Executive Director, American Red Cross Cape Fear Chapter. “Their actions exemplify our mission  to help people prevent, prepare for and respond to emergencies.”

“The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is given to individuals, like Rudy and Leigh who step up in an emergency situation and help save or sustain a life,” said Jarvis. “These individuals exemplify the mission of the Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and are to be commended for their willingness to help others in distress.”

Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit LifesavingAwards.org to nominate, recognize, or be inspired.

No Ordinary Day

September 9, 2019, started out an ordinary day at the Keihin North America location in Tarboro, NC – until an associate team member collapsed in sudden cardiac arrest.

Seeing their colleague in distress, John Foster, Jeremy Judd, and Julia Sheff immediately called 9-1-1 and began intervention with CPR and an AED. They continued their efforts until emergency responders arrived on the scene – approximately 12 minutes later. Fortunately, EMS was able to regain a pulse before the patient was transported to the hospital. Their quick efforts enabled their colleague to survive this cardiac arrest incident and begin their recovery.

Plant Manager Robert Bass nominated John, Jeremy, and Julia for their incredible actions. The American Red Cross is honored we honor them with the Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action.

The Certificate of Extraordinary Personal Action is awarded to individuals who step up in an emergency situation and help save or sustain a life.  These individuals exemplify the mission of the Red Cross to prevent and alleviate human suffering in the face of emergencies and we commend you for your willingness to help others in distress.

Red Cross training gives people the knowledge and skills to act in an emergency and save a life. A variety of online, blended (online and in-person skills session) and classroom courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass.

If you or someone you know has used skills and knowledge learned in an American Red Cross Training Services course to help save or sustain the life of another individual, visit LifesavingAwards.org to nominate, recognize, or be inspired.

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Pictured (L-R):  Jeremy Judd, John Foster, and Mace Robinson, Executive Director of the American Red Cross Northeastern North Carolina.

Trio Recognized for Lifesaving Efforts

Emergencies can happen at any time: in the grocery store parking lot, at a family wedding, on a hot day at the community pool or even at the office and inside your very own home. But regardless of when and where they occur, emergency situations usually have one thing in common: a crowd of people standing around, staring at a victim—wondering who should act and trying to remember what to do.

On August 9, 2019, Jenny Rucker, Brooke Buczek, and Joey Bridgham, trained in American Red Cross Lifeguarding/First Aid/CPR/AED, helped to sustain the life of a woman who collapsed on the pool deck at Aquatic Management Group in Raleigh, NC. Jenny Rucker was guarding the pool when a woman collapsed due to a seizure. Jenny immediately blew her whistle and went to the woman. Brooke Buczek alerted by the whistle contacted 9-1-1 while fellow lifeguard, Joey Bridgham, cleared the pool. Jenny placed the woman on her back and did an assessment. She found the woman to have a pulse but was not breathing. She attempted to establish an airway. She started conducting rescue ventilations using a mask but was unable to get the air to enter her mouth. Jenny removed her mask and managed to deliver rescue breaths.  The woman started breathing on her own once more and regained consciousness.  Emergency Medical Responders arrived shortly after and transported the woman to the hospital for further treatment. Without a doubt, the skills learned in the American Red Cross Training Services course helped to sustain the life of this woman.

Jenny, Brooke, and Joey were presented with the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award for Professional Responders. This is one of the highest awards given by the American Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in a Red Cross Training Services course. This action exemplifies the highest degree of concern of one human being for another who is in distress. The certificate bears the signatures of the President and CEO of the American Red Cross Gail McGovern and Chairman Bonnie McElveen-Hunter.

Barry Porter, Regional CEO of the American Red Cross Eastern North Carolina, and Donna Rhode, Chair of the Triangle Area Chapter Board of Directors presented the awards.

Michael Dunbar and Greg Blum of Aquatic Management Group nominated the three recipients for this honor.  David Bagentose, Aquatics Representative for the Carolina, Training Services, was also present for the awards presentation.

To learn more about the American Red Cross Lifesaving Award program or to nominate an individual or team, please visit:  redcross.org/take-a-class/lifesaving

North Carolina State Fair, Friends, Family & Fun

The 2019 NC State Fair is now in the history books and the American Red Cross First Aid stations are closed up till next year. The Red Cross has had a First Aid Station at the fair every year since 1928, which only the exception of a couple of years during WWII when the fair was not held. The stations are run by volunteers and staff of the Eastern North Carolina Region.

On my trip to the State Fair I had the honor of meeting some of the volunteers who work at the three Red Cross stations (also known as huts). Here is a short story about the why they volunteer.

The first of many volunteers I was privileged to meet is the Red Cross First Aid Station coordinator, Kathy Ellen, who believes in giving back to the Red Cross and the community. For over 20 years she has been the face of the Red Cross at the State Fair. She told me that at one time, the Red Cross had its own building, but people couldn’t find it easily. Some years ago, it was torn down and replaced with huts which were more visible and provided a more impactful public presence.

I also met Larry Cockrell, the First Aid station supervisor overseeing the volunteers.  I learned he has an extensive history of volunteering with the Red Cross. Larry was from Nash County before moving to Raleigh. He has held many volunteer positions with the Rocky Mount/ Nash County chapter and enjoys returning to the State Fair every year because of the friendships and fellowship he has made.  He shared how things have changed over the years, but the Red Cross continues to provide an important service.

The next volunteer I met was Larry Kohn, a local business owner who sells AED’s (Automated External Defibrillators). Larry provides AEDs for each of the Red Cross First Aid Stations (huts). He was first introduced to the Red Cross through his work and has volunteered at the fair ever since. Larry said it’s like a big family at the Red Cross and has made many friends. He encouraged everyone to come and learn about helping others.

One of my highlights was meeting the students from Richlands High School of Onslow County. I was very impressed with the reasons they shared for wanting to volunteer with the Red Cross at the NC State Fair.

Natalia Thompson was so happy to volunteer with the Red Cross. After high school, she hopes to someday enter the medical field and maybe the military. She looks forward to coming back to help again.

Carly Schaub also enjoyed volunteering at the State Fair.  She said, “I am pursuing my dream by helping here today.” She’s learning more about helping others using skills from her Health Science class, including administering CPR and using an AED.

Eden Navaeh Hodge, a seventeen year old senior from Richlands High School, said “I always volunteer and love to help out. When I heard about volunteering with the Red Cross, I had to jump on it.” She hopes to volunteer more in college.

Then I met Maggie Adams, who was wearing a blue rain coat and the largest smile at the whole state fair. She said, “I am really passionate about the medical field and working in a hospital.” Maggie is a member of the high school HOSA (Health Occupational Student of America) and hopes to go to school to become a nurse.

During the NC State Fair, I met some great volunteers who said they had a great time helping at the Red Cross First Aid Station and could not wait to return next year.

This year, 56 Red Cross First Aid volunteers donated 824 hours of their time providing 872 services to fair attendees. They treated variety of health issues including blisters, insect stings, headaches, sprains, allergies, and many other ailments.

The Red Cross is grateful for volunteers and the volunteer groups who participated, including Richlands High School, Wake Early College Program, Capital Regional Advisory Committee (CapRAC), and nurses from WakeMed and Duke Raleigh Hospital.”

Learn more about volunteer opportunities with the Red Cross at www.redcross.org/enc

Story by: Wendy Ella May | American Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer
Photography by:  Sharon Penn | American Red Cross Public Affairs Volunteer

 

Hundreds gather for Red Cross Institute

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Carl Witten, a Red Cross volunteer since 2005, came to the Red Cross Institute in Nashville, N.C. as an information technology specialist who has experience hooking up satellite connections for phone and internet. But he was at the institute to learn something new –  he is transitioning from volunteering in IT to serving spiritual needs. And the institute, which was held March 1-3 at Nash County Community College, provided the classes for him.

The Red Cross Institute is designed to provide a wide range of instruction, serving volunteers who are just starting out, as well as those with years of experience. The classes, of course, were free for volunteers.

“People can get classes that are not often offered at the chapter level,” said Micheal Francis, a disaster volunteer and organizer of this year’s institute. “For new volunteers, this is an opportunity to work on a track, get key classes needed to advance from a trainee.”

On offer this past weekend were entire tracks, or groups of courses, such as the Disaster Spiritual Care Track and Volunteer Services Track. Or volunteers could choose individual classes such as disaster deployment fundamentals.

A new offering this year was the Service to the Armed Forces Track – including an introductory set of six courses that could be taken together or as standalones. The track helps prepare volunteers to serve the nation’s military members, their families and veterans.Classroom-0014

About 320 volunteers were in attendance, said David Garrison, senior disaster manager. “You can get all your basic classes in one weekend,” he said, adding that it’s a good opportunity for team-building.

It was also a chance for volunteers throughout the Eastern North Carolina Region to get together and meet new colleagues or to renew old connections.

“It’s good to network, see people you don’t usually see,” said Glenn Butler, of the Sandhills Chapter. He was at the institute to learn about mass casualty events and government operations. “They’re hard-to-find specialty courses.”

Shon Niles, also from the Sandhills Chapter, was there to learn about deployment fundamentals. She also planned to take an emergency response vehicle training course. Niles currently volunteers in her chapter for the Pillowcase Project, a program that aims to prepare children for emergencies, and there were courses at the institute for that, too.

Douglas Banks, a nurse, has been an event-based volunteer since last year and was looking to study logistics and government operations fundamentals to expand his volunteering options. “I wanted to know a lot of things so I could go into managing a shelter if I wanted,” he said.

In addition to courses, the institute provided a career fair for volunteers who want to learn more about how their skills could fit best with Red Cross needs.

Wendy Flynn, regional volunteer services manager, noted that the Red Cross of Eastern North Carolina has 1,000 volunteer postings available, including many roles that new volunteers might not expect. One important need, she said, was in human resources. “We’re recruiting across all service lines, not just disaster response,” she said.

Steve and Jeannie Lowell of Apex said they are in training mode, doing disaster action team training, and focusing on the Government Operations Track. “There are so many things to do – I’m overwhelmed,” Jeannie said.

By volunteering with the Red Cross, they hope to pass along their passion for helping others to their children, Steve said. “It’s a good environment, everyone working toward a common goal.”

To view photos from the Red Cross Institute, visit https://www.flickr.com/photos/triangleredcross/albums/72157676996282887

To view videos from the event, visit http://www.facebook.com/redcrossenc.

Story by Michael White / American Red Cross

Red Cross volunteers’ quick-thinking saves life 

Red Cross volunteers’ quick-thinking saves life 

Red Cross volunteers are on the front lines, interacting with people affected by disasters. Often, they’re the first people that arrive to help, whether it be by giving food or emergency supplies, or simply being someone to talk to. 

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Kenneth Drum

It’s the part of the job that Red Cross volunteer Kenneth Drum enjoys most. A native of Clarksburg, West Virginia, he’s been volunteering with the Red Cross for just over a year. 

“Communicating with people, finding out what their needs are and being a friend. If I can put a smile on their face for 15 seconds, it’s 15 seconds of misery that they’ve forgotten,” Kenneth said. 

Sometimes, those interactions can be the difference between life or death, as was the case with one North Carolinian. 

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Volunteers Maria Gubnitsky (left), Shelley Kilgore, and Maria Huffman.

Kenneth is an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) driver with the Red Cross. He and his team had just arrived to deliver meals to people impacted by Hurricane Florence in North Carolina. 

After chatting with one community member, it quickly became clear that something wasn’t right. She seemed unwell so Kenneth, who is a former firefighter and EMT, decided to contact the Red Cross health responders to assist. 

Volunteers Maria Huffman, Shelley Kilgore and Maria Gubnitsky arrived within minutes to find that she was, indeed, very ill. However, she refused to be taken to the hospital until she was certain that all members of her community had been fed. 

The volunteers, concerned for her wellbeing, provided care to her until she agreed to be transported to hospital by ambulance. 

Doctors had indicated that, had it not been for the quick-thinking of the Red Cross team and their insistence on getting her to the hospital, it’s likely she would have died. “I don’t think any of us expected the outcome, but it was clear she was sick,” Huffman said. 

For Kenneth, it’s less about his quick thinking and more about the team working together. 

“It wasn’t me. It was our whole crew. Everybody was involved.”   

Story by Corinne Mercier/ Canadian Red Cross

Volunteer encourages youth to give back 

Elizabeth Baker had only joined AmeriCorps four months before she was called out to her first disaster response, working side-by-side with the American Red Cross. 

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Elizabeth and her team, all members of AmeriCorps, were working on a Habitat for Humanity project in Winston-Salem, North Carolina when they got the notice to evacuate due to incoming Hurricane Florence. 

“We got the evacuation notice a few days before the storm hit,” Elizabeth said. “We evacuated to Sevierville, Tennessee and stayed there for four days.” That’s where Elizabeth and her team were called to come to South Carolina to assist with Red Cross’ disaster response efforts in Columbia, South Carolina. 

Since then, she and her team have helped the Red Cross with sheltering (cleaning and packing 800 cots), warehouse support for the distribution of emergency supplies and, most recently, with damage assessments in North Carolina. 

While her time with the Red Cross has been meaningful, Elizabeth said she will most remember the families who went out of their way to access cleaning supplies being distributed by volunteers. The Red Cross packed a truck full of supplies to help those who were returning to their communities after Hurricane Florence, only to find their homes in need of cleaning and repairs. 

“We couldn’t fix their home, but we could give them some tools, and I think that was the most impactful – how thankful they were for tools to do that work,” she said. 

Elizabeth, a native of Wisconsin, hopes to enroll in medical school soon and plans to continue giving back to her community as much as possible. She encourages other young people to get involved, too. 

“You see the impact of natural disasters and other needs in your community on the news but getting out there and doing something about it is as much power as young people can have.” 

Story by Corinne Mercier/Canadian Red Cross

Red Cross Prepares for Hurricane Irma – Issues Safety Steps, Calls for Volunteers

Hurricane Preparedness

Sept. 7, 2017, RALEIGH – The American Red Cross continues to help people impacted by Hurricane Harvey while getting ready to respond as powerful Hurricane Irma nears the United States and its territories.

Hurricane Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record and people in the possible path of this storm should monitor weather reports and get prepared now.

In North Carolina, the Red Cross is establishing a statewide relief operation based in Charlotte, working closely with government officials and community partners to coordinate potential response efforts. In addition, supplies are now being staged across the state so they can be dispatched quickly should shelters be opened.

“The Red Cross continues to monitor Hurricane Irma closely and is prepping as if the storm will be destructive in North Carolina,” said Barry Porter, regional CEO of the Red Cross in Eastern NC. “We encourage the community to take the next few days to prepare their homes and families.”

Hurricane Safety Steps

Find a shelter by visiting redcross.org or by downloading the free Red Cross Emergency App. The Emergency App also puts real time information about the storm and hurricane safety tips at your fingertips. The app is available in app stores by searching for the American Red Cross or going to redcross.org/apps. You can also follow these safety steps:

  • Continue listening to local area radio, NOAA radioor TV stations for the latest information and updates.
  • If your neighborhood is prone to flooding, be prepared to evacuate quickly if necessary.
  • Follow evacuation orders and do not attempt to return until officials say it is safe to do so.
  • Head for higher ground and stay there.
  • Stay away from floodwaters. If you come upon a flowing stream where water is above your ankles, stop, turn around and go another way.
  • Turn around, don’t drown. If driving, turn around and go another way. If you are caught on a flooded road and waters are rising rapidly around you, get out of the car quickly and move to higher ground. Most cars can be swept away by less than two feet of moving water.
  • Keep children out of the water.
  • Be especially cautious at night when it’s harder to see flood danger.
  • Make sure you have a plan and supplies for your pets. Download the free Red Cross Pet First Aid Appfor emergency preparedness tips, a pet-friendly hotel locator and an animal hospital locator.

During the storm:

  • Stay indoors.
  • Don’t walk on beaches, riverbanks or in flood waters.
  • Use flashlights in the dark if the power goes out. Do NOT use candles.
  • Turn off the power and water mains if instructed to do so by local authorities.
  • Don’t forget your pets. Bring them indoors and maintain direct control of them. Prepare an emergency kit for your pets, including sturdy leashes or pet carriers, food and water, bowls, cat litter and pan, and photos of you with your pet in case they get lost.

Find more information on preparedness on redcross.org.

VOLUNTEER: The Red Cross is currently seeking volunteers to help those affected by Hurricane Irma. To volunteer, please visit redcross.org/volunteer to complete a volunteer application and see what opportunities are available.

About the American Red Cross:

The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or cruzrojaamericana.org, or visit us on Twitter at @RedCross.

Wilmington residents convene at Cape Fear Preparedness and Safety Expo

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From virtual reality experiences to tornado simulations and rescue gear displays, residents of Wilmington received tips on disaster preparedness at the Cape Fear Preparedness & Safety Expo on May 11.

The event, hosted by the American Red Cross, featured local vendors that were passionate about community safety. Vendors focused on disaster preparedness tips regarding hurricanes, flooding, and home fires, which are all common disasters along the coast.

Guests also had an opportunity to experience what it’s like to be a Red Cross volunteer assisting the community during a disaster at the Red Cross Virtual Reality booth, created by OnecallVR. image1

The video, filmed after Hurricane Matthew, virtually placed viewers in flooded roads and intersections,  alongside volunteers distributing food and water, cleaning up the remains of houses, stocking emergency response vehicles, and  taking care of residents in emergency shelters.

In a booth nearby, Red Cross volunteers  Anna Crutchfield and Leween McIntosh ran a fire safety and prevention table.

Crutchfield, a single mom working full-time, wanted to get involved and volunteer. She had a very limited schedule, but said Red Cross made volunteering flexible for her. She now helps the Red Cross promote home fire safety by installing free smoke alarms in area homes.

Leween McIntosh and her husband have been volunteering for the Red Cross for more than three years and say home fire preparedness is their passion. The pair spend their weekends educating people on how to prevent home fires and how to create home fire evacuation plans.

For more information on how to keep your family safe, visit www.redcross.org/disaster.

A special thank you to local sponsors, Live Oak Bank, New Hanover Regional Medical Center and WWAY for making the event possible. 

Story by: Haley Franks/American Red Cross