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For a Red Cross Volunteer It’s All in a Day’s Work
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Angie McFarland
October 20, 2008

Eloy and Kelly Mainez, husband and wife and Red Cross disaster volunteers, traveled from their home in Waco to Houston to distribute meals and snacks to victims of Hurricane Ike. The couple had no idea when they left home that they would be using the lifesaving techniques they learned in a chapter First Aid/CPR class to save a child's life.

NBC Today Show
American Red Cross Health and Safety expert Connie Harvey appeared on The Today Show as a part of their “First Aid Today” series. Harvey lists what to include in a first aid kit, and gives a brief overview of CPR and AED techniques.

That day, Red Cross volunteers were distributing meals to dozens of local residents who had returned to their homes to begin cleaning up from the storm. Kitchens were not yet ready for cooking, so Red Cross volunteers were providing meals and snacks. Volunteers were handing out food from a Red Cross Emergency Response Vehicle, a large red and white panel truck with clear Red Cross identification.

Nearby, a toddler got too close to a passing vehicle, and was pulled under the wheel. The child was badly hurt. Neighbors instinctively turned to the nearby Red Cross volunteers for help.

All Red Cross volunteers are encouraged to learn basic First Aid/CPR/AED skills, and fortunately, Eloy and Kelly had. That education and training quite possibly saved the toddler's life.

The couple worked in unison, providing the necessary care. They called 9-1-1 to notify authorities of the accident. While waiting for the child to be airlifted to a local hospital, Eloy and Kelly calmed the gathering crowd and provided direction on the scene.

This is just one instance of many where Red Cross Health and Safety classes have provided citizens of all ages with the confidence and skills to save lives in their communities.

The class in which Eloy and Kelly learned First Aid and CPR was taught by another Red Cross volunteer, Ethan Silva, a local high school student. Ethan, whose father is the chapter's safety director, volunteers as an instructor with the Heart of Texas Area Red Cross to promote a community of prepared citizens, such as Eloy and Kelly.

You and your family can learn the lifesaving skills taught by your local Red Cross. Just contact your local Red Cross chapter to sign up for First Aid/CPR/AED training, Babysitter's Training, Pet First Aid, water safety classes, and more.

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; provides nearly half of the nation's blood supply; teaches lifesaving skills; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization – not a government agency – and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. For more information, please visit www.redcross.org or join our blog at www.redcrosschat.org.

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