Citizens Fire Academy offered its members a chance to learn first-responder and CPR training from the American Red Cross during Thursday night’s session.
Leading the presentation was Warren County Red Cross director Kathy Nesmith.
“You always want to remember check, care, call,” Nesmith said. “The first thing you want to do is check the scene. You need a good idea of what happened before you can decide what you need to do to help. Also, you want to make sure it is safe for you to help.”
After the scene is assessed, Nesmith says determine the medical care the victim or victims might need. If an individual appears to be unconscious, tap and shout to try to get a response. Then, call 911 to report what is going on so the dispatcher can call the appropriate departments.
“If you are alone and the person is not breathing, call 911 first then start CPR,” said Nesmith.
She demonstrated how this is done. First, tilt the head back and lift chin up to open airway. Place the heel of one hand in the center of the chest and your other hand on top of it. Press chest down two inches at a rate of 100 per minute.
“If spinal cord damage from a fall is suspected, do not tilt the head back,” said Nesmith. “You want to leave the head still. Go ahead and do chest compression.”
Class members also received some history pertaining to the American Red Cross, which provides relief to disaster victims, helps people prepare for and respond to emergencies, and provides disaster response to aid emergency personnel through its disaster action team.
The vision of philanthropist and banker Henri Dunant, the International Committee of the Red Cross was founded in Geneva, Switzerland on Feb. 9, 1863. Clara Barton established the American Red Cross on May 21, 1881.
The organization’s first fire disaster relief mission was on Sept. 4, 1881 during the Michigan Forest Fire. On May 31, 1889, it responded to the Johnstown, Penn., flood that killed more than 2,000 people.
Red Cross also provides swimming lessons to children. That program was established in 1914 when Commodore Wilbert E. Longfellow developed the Learn-to-Swim Program, creating the National Red Cross Life Saving Corps.
The Red Cross Blood Donor Project began in 1941, and CPR was introduced as a Red Cross Program in 1974. A total of 13.3 million units of blood were donated during the World War II.
The local organization is funded through the people of Warren County, fundraising, United Way and grants. Its operational budget is approximately $50,000 a year. Last year, the organization spent $35,000 on disaster relief alone.
Citizens Fire Academy is offered by McMinnville Fire Department. For more information, call 473-6739. To learn more about the American Red Cross of Warren County call 473-2595.