Thursday, April 30, 2009

Review Your Family Red Cross Ready Plans

Now is a great time to review your family Red Cross Ready plans. Visit for free tips. Call 2-1-1 for local swine flu questions.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Swine Flu Brings Up Important Topic

Good reminder to learn preventative measures and healthy habits

For Immediate Release

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (April 27, 2009)— The American Red Cross in Utah offers free safety tips to prevent the spread of flu in the wake of the 40 cases of the Swine Flu in the U.S, according to the Center For Disease Control as of 1:00 PM ET, today.

Red Cross CEO, Maxine Margaritis, said, “This is a very good reminder for all of us. The American Red Cross has excellent tips on prevention and health. People need to know how to prevent becoming ill, what to do if they become sick, what they need to do if they must care for someone who is sick.”

The American Red Cross recommends following these simple steps to prevent the spread of a disease:

· Wash hands frequently with soap and water or a hand sanitizer

· Avoid or minimize contact with sick people (a minimum 3 feet distancing is recommended.)

· Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.

· Cover your mouth and nose when you cough and sneeze. If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into the crooke of your elbow

· Stay away from others as much as possible when you are sick.

Also, stay healthy, adopt good business policies that encourage employees/students to stay home when sick and get a flu shot every year. Please follow health and travel recommendations from your local Health authorities and the CDC. For more information and free tips on how to be Red Cross Ready to prevent the spread of the flu, visit

For updates and additional information on swine flu check with:

Utah Department of Health

Salt Lake Valley Health

And the Center for Disease Control

The American Red Cross in Utah

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Red Cross Lifeguard Competition

Lifeguards from across the state of Utah meet in Kearns to compete in lifesaving skills in the American Red Cross Lifeguard Games July 18th

For immediate release

Kearns, Utah (May 1, 2009) -- The American Red Cross will hold the 2009, 14th Annual Lifeguard Games at the Kearns Oquirrh Park Fitness Center on Saturday, July 18th from 7:30 am to 11:30. Lifeguard Andrew Arnold of Farmington was a member of the winning team from South Davis Recreation Center last year. Andrew is 20 years old and has been lifeguarding for 5 years, he said he highly recommends this event, “I would encourage every pool to send lifeguards to this event, I thoroughly enjoyed it. The drills made us practice all of the important skills that a lifeguard needs and it required us to think outside of our training and to figure out what to do with our patients.” Red Cross Health and Safety Director, Mary Matthiessen explains, “This event is a great way for lifeguards to practice their skills in a non-life threatening environment. They can take what they practice here back to their own individual pools and put them into practice.”

Matthiessen, said, “Lifeguarding is much more than working on a good tan. When individuals and families come to swim at their pools they can be assured that a trained lifeguard will be there to help them in their time of need.” About 200 lifeguards from around the state compete in the Lifeguard Games. Six-person, co-ed teams show off their skills, as the Red Cross honors the important work of lifeguards in protecting the lives of Utahns.

Drowning remains the second leading cause of death from unintentional injuries for youths ages 5 to 24, according to the National Safety Council. The majority of these deaths occur in water that is not being monitored by trained lifeguards.

The American Red Cross has been the leader in water safety and lifeguard training since 1914.

About the American Red Cross in Utah: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and counsels victims of disasters; teaches lifesaving skills; supplies blood to 30 area hospitals; and supports military members and their families. The organization also provides emergency utility assistance and international family tracing services. The American Red Cross is a nonprofit organization, not a government funded agency, which depends entirely upon volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its humanitarian mission. Donate your time or resources to your local Chapter. Salt Lake Area 801-323-7000 or visit, Provo Area (801) 373-8580, Ogden Area (801) 627-0000,

Caption for photo: left to right on the back row is Andrew Arnold, Sagen Smith, Jeralyn Turnblom. The front row is Nalu Medeiros, Steve Platt. More photos available in high resolution. This photo courtesy Kearns Oquirrh Park.

Red Cross Volunteers

To read personal stories about Red Cross volunteers, heroes and disaster victims

Monday, April 20, 2009

Red Cross Babysitter Training

The Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter of the American Red Cross encourages all babysitters to take the Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course. Youth ages 11-15 are invited to take the class. Red Cross safety experts teach babysitters first aid, choking, and other safety skills. Having a Red Cross Babysitter’s Training certification is also a great way for kids to market themselves for babysitting jobs. The course offers the knowledge, skills, and confidence to care for infants and school-aged children. The cost is $35 and the class runs 6 hours and 45 minutes.

This course includes a participant handbook, CD-ROM, activities, hands-on training and group discussion on the following topics:

  • Responding to emergencies and illnesses with first aid, rescue breathing and other appropriate care
  • Managing young children
  • Making decisions under pressure
  • Recognizing safety and hygiene issues
  • Feeding, changing diapers and other care for infants
  • Communicating with parents to learn household rules

For more info call 801-323-7014 or visit or go right to this link for the class description and the schedule:

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Red Cross Helps Young Mother After Building Collapse

caption: Regina Ordendain and her 2 month old baby Laila in the Red Cross Shelter

Young mother, Regina Ordendain, appreciated having a warm, safe place to spend the night for herself and her 2 month old baby after she was evacuated from her apartment building in the middle of the night on April 16th due a structural collapse. Regina told the Red Cross, “I was so glad to have a place to sleep! I was tired and the baby slept great through this whole thing.” The Red Cross provided shelter to 11 people who were displaced in the early morning hours after hearing loud cracking sounds and feeling their building drop 6 inches below them.

The Red Cross will be helping Regina and up to 40 additional people affected by the evacuation in the coming days if they need shelter, food, clothing or assistance finding a new place to live.

caption: Sky Ibarra left, Cassandra Coplin 8 months pregnant center and Regina Ordendain and her baby Laila in the Red Cross Shelter.

She and her neighbors and friends Sky Ibarra and Cassandra Coplin were all forced out of the building at about 2:00 in the morning. A Disaster Action Team of volunteers were on the scene right away to offer comfort and help with immediate, essential needs. Sky and Cassandra were very grateful to the Red Cross for setting up a shelter in the middle of the night and offering them a place to stay and showing them that someone cared. Cassandra, who is 8 months pregnant was especially grateful for a nice, big breakfast this morning.

The Red Cross is fielding calls from many of the residents today who may need help.

After lunch, the shelter will close today. The building management has located several vacant apartments for the evacuees to move into. The building management will borrow cots from the Red Cross for a few days.

Smith’s Marketplace graciously donated breakfast and lunch for the evacuees at the shelter today.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Willie The Parrot Saves Baby's Life!

Not pictured: Willie.

Polly wanna Heimlich?

Animals hold our very existence in the palms of their little claws, and at any time they can choose to end us forever. Don't believe me? In another example of the watch they keep over us, a parrot named Willie saved a girl by alerting humans to the fact that she was choking.

When Willie's owner foolishly left the room of a child she was babysitting, the toddler started choking on her breakfast. Willie, alerted by his superior animal instincts, began squawking "Mama, baby" while flapping his wings until the babysitter returned. By then little Hannah had already turned blue, as happens when babies can't breathe, and Ms. Babysitter proceeded to perform CPR.

Luckily, Hannah came to, and the world has since bestowed upon little Willie the title of hero. At a "Breakfast of Champions" in his hometown of Denver, he was given the local Red Cross chapter's Animal Lifesaver Award.

Kudos to little Willie - more animals (and people) could learn from your fine example!

Read the story at

Monday, April 6, 2009

Italy's Worst Quake In Nearly 30 Years

Italy's worst Quake in nearly 30 years strikes city of L'Aquila

At 3:30 a.m. a powerful earthquake with a magnitude of 6.3 on the Richter scale struck the city of L'Aquila in central Italy, 120 km northeast of Rome. According to the ANSA news agency, the earthquake killed 100 people and injured 1,500 as buildings and homes in a walled medieval town were reduced to rubble.

The Italian Red Cross reports the numbers of dead and injured are expected to grow. Tens of thousands of people have become homeless in the city which has a population of 70'000. The Italian Red Cross rescue teams were on the scene of the disaster within an hour after the earthquake struck. It is presently scaling up personnel and equipment in the affected area to reinforce capacity for search and rescue, as well as meals and blankets for the survivors.

The Italian Red Cross is on full alert and active in health, first aid, logistics and humanitarian relief. It also established a field hospital to relieve the burden on local health facilities which are under an enormous strain due to the sudden upsurge in demand. Italian Red Cross has also quickly set up mobile kitchens with the capacity to provide 10,000 meals a day run by a team of with a team of 16 Italian Red Cross staff and 30 volunteers. Two soup kitchens providing 200-400 meals a day have been set up to respond to the needs of L'Aquila Hospital which is being evacuated.

Thirty six ambulances from the Italian Red Cross are on rotation to evacuate injured people from L'Aquila to the Hospitals in Tagliacozzo, Pescina and Avezzano and it is also evacuating an orphanage in San Gregorio and will ensure care is provided for all the children. Additionally, five psychological support teams from the Italian Red Cross are now operational on the ground.

Additional means and resources are ready to be sent, depending on needs, including 30 search and rescue dog units, five psychological support teams and three veterinary teams.

With up to 10,000 buildings in the city expected to be badly damaged if not destroyed, the Italian Red Cross foresees growing problems with shelter, warm clothes and food provisions for the survivors. "Once we have addressed the need to reinforce emergency health care in the region, the next major challenge, apart from urgent search and rescue, is to find a solution for the thousands of homeless survivors" according to Tommasso Della Longa, head of Communication for the Italian Red Cross who is on the spot.

Further mobilisation of resources is being organised. A national appeal calling for solidarity with the population hit by the earthquake is going to be issued on the Italian Red Cross website.

Working in close co-ordination with the Italian Civil Protection, the Italian Red Cross has activated its national operations centre, as well as four regional ones, bringing the considerable capacity of the organisation to effectively address the needs of the population.

Since 1968 the International Federation and member National Societies have supported the Italian Red Cross three times after earthquakes in 1968, 1976 and in 1980. In 1980 some 3000 people lost their lives after a deadly quake hit the region of Naples. In 1992 a quake in Umbria claimed 13 lives and countless cultural treasures. The most recent deadly quake was in 2002 when 30 people died, including 27 pupils and their teacher, in the southern Italian town of San Giuliano di Puglia.

For more information stay tuned to

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Fire In Midvale Affects 2 Families

SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH (April 1, 2009) – The snow was coming down hard this morning in Midvale as two families watched their homes go up in flames. An American Red Cross Disaster Action Team was on the scene to help the 2 families with 6 individuals affected by the fire that blazed through their duplex homes. Volunteers Ashley Hodges, Bob Kelleher and Betty Moore helped the families, assessed their needs and offered assistance with immediate services like shelter, food and counseling if desired. Bob Kelleher said, “One of the families had just found out they had a death in their family and then coincidentally, had to deal with the trauma of this fire and losing everything they had. There were also several pets that are now missing from the two homes. ” The volunteer team leader, Ashley Hodges said, “They lost everything, these homes are totally destroyed.” The fire occurred at 7670 S. 415 E.

The Greater Salt Lake Area Chapter of the American Red Cross responds to up to 100 incidents each year, some of them render multiple families homeless. Nationwide, the American Red Cross’s local chapters help victims of major and minor disasters by offering immediate comfort, which may include food, a warm place to stay, clothing and other life necessities. Volunteers give comfort kits to victims of fire, flood or other disasters. The kits include helpful items like toothbrushes, toothpaste and a toy for children.

If you’d like to help, financial donations are always accepted to help victims of this fire and other disasters in your community. For more information about donating to the Chapter Emergency Services please go to or call 801.323.7000.