Flu Season: It’s Not Over

By: David Moore, Volunteer Blog Writer, American Red Cross New Hampshre

I’ve got the flu. (And not the good kind I sometimes come down with just before the annual visit to grandma’s.) I accessed my Red Cross First Aid App and went down the checklist of warning signs and symptoms, and, sure enough … I’ve got the in-flu-en-za.

I don’t think I have one of those exotic strains, however, seems I’ve got a good case of the old fashioned brand … the fever and chills and body aches variety so common to the northern US this winter (CDC says this is the worse US influenza outbreak in several years). In fact, all but one Northeastern state still are reporting regional or widespread outbreaks (as of March 22, flu outbreaks are still widespread in NY, Conn, Mass and NJ).

Although CDC statistics show that new cases of influenza are down from its high point in mid-February, a significant number of cases still are being reported each week. So, despite the warming weather, the Red Cross is here to tell you (with at least one personal testimony) that it is not time to let your flu guard down just yet.

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Dangerous Symptoms

First, you should always call your doctor or healthcare provider if you think you have the flu. And you should seek immediate medical care if you develop any of the following symptoms:

  •          Fast breathing, trouble breathing or bluish skin color.
  •          Pain or pressure in the chest or abdomen (adults).
  •          Confusion or sudden dizziness.
  •          Not drinking enough fluids, not being able to eat, or severe or persistent vomiting.
  •          Flu-like symptoms that improve but then return with fever and worse cough.

And especially for children when:

  •          Not waking up, being so irritable that the child does not want to be held or not interacting.
  •          Fever with a rash
  •          No tears when crying or significantly fewer wet diapers than normal

Prevention Tips

The Red Cross also has some simple steps people can take to help prevent the spread of the flu virus:

  •          Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue or sleeve when coughing or sneezing. If a tissue            isn’t available, cough or sneeze into your elbow, not your hands.
  •          Wash (with soap) or sanitize hands often, especially after coughing or sneezing.
  •          Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
  •          Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
  •          Stay home if you’re sick.

Sanitation Tips

So, what do you do with somebody in the household who already has the flu (affectionately labeled, but not limited to, “the viral menace”)? Try some of these tips:

  •          Designate one person as the caregiver and have the other household members avoid close contact with that person so           they won’t become sick.
  •          Make sure the ill person stays at home and rests until 24 hours after the fever is gone.
  •          Isolate the sick person or persons in separate bedroom and bath, if possible. Assign each with their own drinking glass,          washcloth and towel.
  •          Disinfect doorknobs, switches, handles, computers, telephones, bedside tables, bathroom sinks, toilets, counters, toys            and other surfaces that are commonly touched around the home or workplace.
  •          Wear disposable gloves when in contact with or cleaning up body fluids.

Click here for a full list of tips.

Well, I’m heading back to the couch now where I will whine and moan and complain until I get waited on by my poor wife-nurse. Of course, I’d best take it easy on her and follow all of the above Red Cross Flu Safety Tips or she might end up as the patient and I might end up as the caregiver … which could force me to choke down a bit of my own medicine.

Volunteer Spotlight: Alison Jolly, Volunteer Management Team Member

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Alison Jolly is a people person. Ask just about anybody who knows Alison and that’s the response you’re likely to get. And as a longtime Red Cross Volunteer and a Volunteer Management Team member for the New Hampshire Region, Alison has had the opportunity to work with and help out a lot of people along the way.

“I enjoy meeting new people,” she said. “The volunteers for the Red Cross are great and that I get to be helpful to them is such a bonus.”

Now living near Keene, Alison spent her career working in retail management, customer service, marketing and personnel. When she moved to the area she started searching for volunteer opportunities as a way of both meeting people and helping out her new community. Alison’s talents for skill assessment and management merged nicely with the Red Cross need for a Volunteer Management Team member. Today Alison works with new volunteers, helping to identify their skills and interests and referring them to matching Red Cross needs.

Alison is involved in all aspects of Recruitment, Retention and Recognition for Red Cross New Hampshire. Using her marketing and communication skills, Alison was able to work with Medical Transportation Coordinator Gary Welch to get an article in the Keene Sentinel highlighting the good work the Red Cross Medical Transportation Department does for the elderly, sick and injured who need help getting to doctor’s appointments and such. Because of this article, the Red Cross found many new volunteers for the Transportation Department.

 

Alison Jolly Volunteer Management Team Member

“Alison reached out to many churches, VFWs, and other civic organizations in the area and worked to have the local newspaper do a feature article on our transportation volunteers,” said Alaine Williams, Director of Volunteer Services for Red Cross New Hampshire. “We have received a great response to her recruitment efforts.”

So, there you go … Oh, and I should have told you that Alison also enjoys caring for her elderly relatives and that she majored in art in college and still enjoys painting and drawing, but I didn’t want it to seem like I was bragging about her …

Thanks again for all your good work, Alison.

Volunteer Opportunities

The American Red Cross depends largely on volunteers like Alison who are trained to help prepare their communities for emergencies, teach  lifesaving skills, connect families or simply lend a helping hand to their neighbors in need.  In return, our volunteers receive fulfillment, enrichment, gratification and a renewed spirit of belonging and giving.  To learn more about volunteer opportunities in your area, go to the American Red Cross of New Hampshire website or download the Team Red Cross app. Each year, more than a million Americans work as Red Cross volunteers. Join Team Red Cross and discover how you, too, can make a difference.

Flood Safety Information…The Red Cross Has an App for That!

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The Red Cross has an App for That …

Many of us here in New Hampshire have had some experience dealing with wet basements and soggy back yards, and, of course, some have had even more devastating experiences where rushing water has swept away land, possessions and even homes set along rain swollen rivers and streams. So with all the snow we’ve received this winter, it’s time to turn our attention from the white stuff to the wet stuff.

Mother's Day Floods, 2006

Mother’s Day Floods, 2006

Nationally last year, the month of March had the second-highest number of flood fatalities. In fact, property damage from flooding last year was tagged at nearly four billion dollars, according to FEMA statistics. So this year the American Red Cross is providing an electronic advantage to those threatened by flooding waters by releasing a new app that provides information before, during and after flood events to help those impacted by rising waters.

The app is available in both English and Spanish and can be installed on iPhones, iPads, and Android smartphones.

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Features of the app include:

  • One-touch “I’m safe” messaging that allows users to send a message letting family and friends know that they are out of harm’s way
  • Preloaded content that gives users instant access to critical action steps, even without mobile connectivity
  • Toolkit with flashlight, strobe light and audible alarm to let others know where you are;
  • Locations of open Red Cross shelters
  • Real-time recovery resources for returning home and cleaning up; and badges users can earn through interactive quizzes and share on social networks.

The app was released this week in coordination with National Flood Safety Awareness Week, which is observed from March 16th to 22nd.

The Flood App, along with the other Red Cross Safety Apps, can be found in the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store for Android by searching for American Red Cross, or by going to redcross.org/mobileapps.

Red Cross Website Lets Family and Friends Know You are Safe and Well

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When disasters hit, the resulting devastation and confusion spreads out beyond the target site by impacting friends and relatives across the country who are anxiously awaiting some word that their loved one has come safely through the catastrophe. I know, I know, everybody and his sister is connected to social media these days, but cell phone signals and computer access can be impacted by disaster and batteries can quickly reach their limits when power outages make recharging a challenge.

The Red Cross and Unitil, a community partner of Red Cross NH, is preparing New Hampshire Residents on how to use the Safe and Well website during the month of March through the New Hampshire Earthquake exercise. During a real disaster, the Red Cross Safe and Well program makes it possible for disaster victims and displaced residents to register with the Red Cross and have their condition and contact information placed on a large online bulletin board of sorts. However, this exercise will give New Hampshire residents the opportunity to become familiar with Safe and Well in order to be more prepared for future emergencies or disasters.

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Those affected by disaster can post “safe and well messages” that loved ones can view directly on the Safe and Well webpage. Registering yourself on the Safe and Well Website is completely voluntary and you can update your entry at any time. Those searching this site for your information will need to enter your name, along with your pre-disaster address or phone number. The search result will show only your first name, last name, the date and time of registration, and the messages you selected to tell your story.

Concerned family and friends can access the Red Cross Safe and Well site and search the list of those who have registered themselves as “safe and well” by clicking on the “Search Registrants” button. The results of a successful search will display a loved one’s first name, last name and whatever message they’ve posted.

So while disasters often make it difficult to stay in touch with loved ones, remember that the American Red Cross Safe and Well website is available to help provide displaced families with relief and comfort during a stressful time. Safe and Well is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and is accessible in both English and Spanish.

The Safe and Well website is easy to use:

  • If you are currently being affected by a disaster somewhere in the U.S., click List Myself as Safe and Well, enter your pre-disaster address and phone number, and select any of the standard message options.
  • If you are concerned about a loved one in the U.S., click Search Registrants and enter the person’s name and pre-disaster phone number OR address. If they have registered, you will be able to view the messages they have posted.

March Is Red Cross Month

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Except for maybe the seventeenth (St. Patrick’s Day, don’t you know), you might want to be wearing something red throughout the month of March to recognize National Red Cross Month and to show your support to all those everyday heroes who step up to help their neighbors in need whenever natural or man-made disaster strikes.

“Red Cross Month is a great time for people to become part of the Red Cross and there are many different ways to do it,” White said. “They can develop a preparedness plan for their household, become a Red Cross volunteer, give blood, or take a Red Cross class, just to name a few.”

March was first proclaimed as Red Cross Month by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1943. Since then, every president, including President Obama, has designated March as Red Cross Month. In fact, the American Red Cross has been helping people in need for more than 130 years, and much of our work is accomplished through the work of our volunteers … people just like you.

So, what do Red Cross volunteers enable us to do … you might ask. Good question. Volunteers and donations make it possible for us to:

• Respond to nearly 70,000 disasters, large and small, in the U.S. each year.

• Provide 24-hour support to members of the military, veterans and their families – in war           zones, military hospitals and on military installations around the world.

• Collect and distribute nearly half of the nation’s blood supply.

• Train millions of people in first aid, water safety and other life-saving skills.

Here in the New Hampshire area last year, the American Red Cross responded to 297 local emergencies, assisted 225 military families and trained 22,043 people in lifesaving skills. And, people from this area donated more than 70,000 units of blood.

Because it seems like you see the Red Cross in every television news report from a fire or disaster area, it’s easy to forget sometimes that the Red Cross is not a government agency and relies on donations of time, money and blood to do its work. And donations are a good investment – an average of 91 cents of every dollar given to the Red Cross goes to helping people in need.

American Red Cross New Hampshire has a number of activities planned for Red Cross Month. Governor Maggie Hassan signed a proclamation designating March as Red Cross Month and joined us in recognizing New Hampshire Heroes at the New Hampshire Red Cross’ annual Heroes Breakfast with Title Sponsor Unitil Corporation March 6th at Southern New Hampshire University, and a board alumni event will be held on March 28th. In fact, the Heroes Breakfast event was held this week to recognized New Hampshire citizens who stepped up over the past year to help save or change somebody’s life.

This year’s Heroes are:

•            Kellie Barr-Foster, of Barrington, was rock climbing at Stonehouse Pond in Barrington when she heard shouting coming from the pond. A fisherman had capsized his boat and was under duress, weighted down by his waders and fishing line tangled around his legs. Kellie quickly jumped into the water and swam him to safety.

•            For over 13 years, Christopher Bridge, of Portsmouth, has been making it his priority to donate platelets on a regular basis. The time required to collect platelets is approximately 2 hours, so consistent donors are scarce and with a shelf life of only 5 days, the need for platelets is great. As a double needle triple unit donor, Chris’ commitment is invaluable.

•            Described as “an angel sent by God,” Robin Comstock, President/CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, was behind a car when it was involved in a serious accident. She immediately stopped and ran to aid the driver of the car, who had been seriously injured. She provided a compassionate presence and support to the victim and her daughter until the EMTs arrived.

•            Soldiers of the Fox Company, 1-169th AV of the New Hampshire National Guard performed hundreds of life saving missions in Afghanistan, carrying 527 patients to higher levels of care, and were the first aircrews to provide blood transfusions during flight.

•            The Waterville Valley Academy Staff sprang into action when a 14 year old at their summer training camp went into cardiac arrest during training. Several of the coaches worked together to perform CPR while a patroller quickly responded with an AED and oxygen.

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For more updated information on what’s going on in March, please “like” us on Facebook by visiting us today at www.facebook.com/nhredcross, or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/NHRedCross.

Red Cross Runners Hope to Raise Money and Awareness in This Year’s Boston Marathon

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I was sitting here trying to remember the last time I ran 26.2 miles for anything.  I mean, that’s like jogging from Manchester to Methuen, Massachusetts! As my grandmother used to say, you’d either have to be crazy or committed to do something like that.

Well, anybody who knows Red Cross NH CEO Maria White and NH Board Member Linda Roche knows that it could go either way. Just kidding, of course, because on April 21st, Maria and Linda will become the first runners to officially represent the Red Cross New Hampshire in the Boston Marathon … and I’m going to tell you how you can share in all the fun without even leaving your La-Z-Boy.

Both Maria and Linda are running to raise money for American Red Cross New Hampshire and its humanitarian mission to support those impacted by man-made or natural disasters.

The Red Cross was a familiar sight at last year’s Boston Marathon bombing, offering immediate assistance to both runners and victims and then supporting the longer term mission of helping people cope with the impact of this terrible tragedy.

New Hampshire volunteers have been involved in the Boston Marathon for about 20 years and traditionally man the aid station at mile marker 21. This is the first year there has been a Team Red Cross running from New Hampshire, however. Maria and Linda have set a goal of raising $8,000 by April 21st and they are asking you to help them make it to the finish line.

“The bombings last year had a significant impact on everyone who ran or who watched it on television or who volunteered.” White said.  “So I think, for us, it is definitely a time to give back, to show our strength as a community.”

Donating is easy. Just click here and go to the “Donate to this fundraiser” sign on the right of the screen. Or, you can send a check to: American Red Cross, 2 Maitland St., Concord NH 03301. Make the check out to “American Red Cross” and write “Boston Marathon” in the check’s memo section. And, of course, you can call American Red Cross NH at 1-800-464-6692 and say that you want to make a donation to Linda and Maria, who are running in the Boston Marathon. Well, there you go … you’ve got a choice about whether to donate via online, land line or by traditional postal line. What could be more convenient?

So join me in getting behind Maria and Linda and their effort to go that extra mile … or maybe I should say: that extra 26.2 miles … for the American Red Cross. Donate today, and don’t be shy about telling your friends. After all, it’s a great way to feel like part of the Boston Marathon comeback without actually having to dig out your flannel jogging suit and matching head and wrist bands.

Volunteer Spotlight: Michelle McFadden, Health Services and Disaster Action Team Volunteer

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Since we’ve been enjoying such a seasonable winter out there, I thought I’d give you a break from digging out the mailbox and raking the roof and warm you up with a story about one of our outstanding Red Cross Volunteers. This month’s New Hampshire Red Cross Volunteer Spotlight lands on a somewhat reluctant Michelle McFadden … who just doesn’t know what all the fuss is about.

“I feel honored to be recommended, but I am uncomfortable with the attention,” Michelle said. “This is a team effort and I have worked with and do work with amazing teams at the Red Cross.”

Michelle is a licensed nurse who started her Red Cross career in 2007 teaching LNA students at the Nashua Red Cross chapter. She has since become both a volunteer Health Services instructor (where her basic duties include client casework and shelter support) and a Disaster Action Team member. As a DAT member, Michelle has been deployed to Nashville, Mississippi, Cape Cod, and in response to last year’s Boston Marathon bombing. One of the nice rewards, she said, is that she still hears from many of the people she met while on those deployments.

“Michelle is one of only a handful of volunteers who will consistently respond to any type of disaster at any time or location and perform any given task,” said David Shaw, Chairman of the Disaster Action Team, Gateway Chapter. “Her ‘let’s get it done’ attitude typically drives other volunteers, and her honesty and empathy gains her the immediate trust of clients.”

Michelle said that the friends she’s made while serving as a Red Cross volunteer in New Hampshire and elsewhere are a big part of why she enjoys her volunteer work. She also likes having the chance to step outside of her full-time work as a registered nurse and get to try different jobs and roles that allow her to expand her skills and meet a variety of talented and dedicated people.

“Being a Red Cross Volunteer is a great networking and a great learning experience,” Michelle added.

Michelle works out of the Nashua Red Cross office, she has two grown daughters, and has season tickets for the New Hampshire Fisher Cats (she even mends the players’ pants when they get torn sliding into base). In fact, she jokes that the only time she grumbles about being called out on a Red Cross emergency response is when she’s at the ballpark.

Volunteer Opportunities

The American Red Cross depends largely on volunteers like Michelle who are trained to help prepare their communities for emergencies, teach  lifesaving skills, connect families or simply lend a helping hand to their neighbors in need.  In return, our volunteers receive fulfillment, enrichment, gratification and a renewed spirit of belonging and giving.  To learn more about volunteer opportunities in your area, go to the American Red Cross of New Hampshire website or download the Team Red Cross app. Each year, more than a million Americans work as Red Cross volunteers. Join Team Red Cross and discover how you, too, can make a difference.

 

So, Just What is the Disaster Action Team?

The Disaster Action Team (DAT) is a team of trained volunteers who go to the scene of a local disaster (such as a home fire) within an hour of notification and provide immediate services to disaster victims and emergency personnel. The DAT initiates Red Cross relief actions and facilitates the mobilization and implementation of other Chapter and/or National sector resources that may be required.

DAT Volunteers are an important part of the American Red Cross because they meet with disaster survivors and assist in providing immediate emergency needs to help ease the stress, pain, anger, confusion, and feelings of helplessness that often accompany a disaster. The funds used to supply food, shelter and clothing for each of these incidents comes from the generosity of Red Cross donors just like you.

Being a DAT member requires the volunteer to be available at a moment’s notice, even when calls come in at 3 am, as teams of at least three volunteers are needed for every call. It definitely takes the strongest, most devoted and enthusiastic volunteers to aid in this mission service … the American Red Cross – and the many people who have been helped by a DAT volunteer – are thankful for them every day.

To become a member of the Disaster Action Team, here are some of the things you will need to do:

  • Pick up and fill out an application at your local Red Cross Chapter
  • Complete an online background check
  • Take the following courses:
  • Introduction to Disaster Services
  • Community Programs Overview
  • Shelter Operations
  • Disaster Assessment Workshop
  • Emergency Assistance to Families I
  • CPR and First Aid (be current)
  • Interview with Disaster Volunteer Coordinator

Top Ten Ways the American Red Cross can Pump Some Life into your Valentine’s Day Celebration

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What’s small and cute, wears a diaper, carries a bow, and makes it his mission to shoot you down once a year? Yup … it’s that time again. The Hallmark Holiday is upon us and, as usual, I am scrambling to figure out the right gift to give the one I’m sweet on. I briefly considered a new vacuum cleaner, but then I remembered the commotion it caused when I gave her our present vacuum cleaner … seven Valentine’s Days ago. So this year I’m turning to the American Red Cross for help in making this the best Valentine’s Day ever (or, at least, keep me from having to sleep on the couch).

With apologies to David Letterman, the Red Cross New Hampshire Region presents … (insert drum roll here) … the Top Ten ways the American Red Cross can help to make your Valentine’s Day a success.

Number 10: Since the best gifts come straight from the heart, it must follow that the most perfect gift should be the gift of blood. Hold on, I’m not finished … The Red Cross can help you find time to donate blood together. After all, like all good dates, it’s practically guaranteed to leave you feeling flushed and a bit light-headed.

Number 9: With all the slobbering that’s likely to go on during Valentine’s Day, couples really need to be aware of the dangers of catching and spreading the flu. Follow the Red Cross Flu Tips to enjoy a safe and sanitary Valentine’s Day experience.

Number 8: This is a good one for you young folks out there with the agile thumbs. You and your special someone can become Digital Fundraisers by setting up an online fundraising account with the Red Cross. Click Here to read about the details.

Big Bang ARCNumber 7: Speaking about financial commitments, there’s no better way for you and the love of your life to celebrate your good luck than to make a donation together. Look at it as sort of a commitment to all those other couples out there who look to the Red Cross to help them through some of the toughest moments of their lives. And remember, an average of 91 cents out of every dollar you give goes to support our humanitarian mission. Click Here to learn about the ways you can donate to the Red Cross.

Number 6: Okay, picture this: Table set with the good plastic plates; soft music squawking from the iPhone; Valentine’s Day card, guaranteed to bring tears (which it did for me when they rang it up at the cash register); candles, burning away. The doorbell rings, the door opens, the dog comes tearing by your carefully set table, brandy snifters overturn, crepe paper tablecloth bunches up, and candles topple to ignite the whole banquet. What do you do now? Not to worry, the American Red Cross has compiled a whole section on fire safety that should see you safely through both your dinner and your disaster, (which should impress your date … a lot more than the plastic plates did, in any event).

Number 5: The gift is always the thing with Valentine’s Day. What to buy? What to give? How much to spend? Well, this year the American Red Cross can take all the guessing out of the Valentine’s Day gift. What does every devoted partner crave? … Togetherness, right. So give the gift of togetherness by taking a Red Cross class together. Not only will you learn how to help each other and your families in the event of an emergency, you will also get to choose your sweetie for CPR practice. Click Here to read about classes offered by your local Red Cross chapter.

Number 4: Give your loved one a gift from the Red Cross Store. There are plenty of useful options available for the safety minded, and what better way to tell somebody you care. Click Here to see what I’m talking about … you romantic devil, you.

Number 3: Maybe it’s just me, but most of my Valentine’s Day plans somehow seem to end up in disaster. I don’t know, I guess it could be bad luck, or one too many dozen of those roadside roses, or maybe I shouldn’t have waited until that morning to try to get reservations. Oh well, some things you can’t predict … but other disasters you can prepare for. The American Red Cross can help you make sure that Natural Disasters don’t destroy your mood on that special day. Click Here to make sure that you are just as prepared for a blizzard as you are for a broken heart.

Number 2: So you think you’ve thought of everything: fire safety, disaster plan, perfect Red Cross gift, plastic plates, everything is going as planned. And so, you gaze into those familiar eyes and say those three magic words … and she chokes up … really, on a piece of steak tip, or she faints and bangs her head on the corner of the table on the way down. You know you’ll have to act quickly if you are to salvage a romantic evening, but what do you do? If you had the handy Red Cross First Aid App for iPhone or Android, help would be just a few finger taps away.

And … the Number One way the American Red Cross can help you to have a Happy Valentine’s Day: You’ve heard the saying that “the couple who plays together stays together?” Well, the Red Cross can help you put a new twist on things … both in the saying and in your relationship: “The couple who Volunteers together, truly enriches their years together.” So, Click Here to give each other the best kind of gift this Valentine’s Day, and find out how you can grow closer by sharing your time and talents together.

So, there you go. We’d like to join the Red Cross in wishing a Happy Valentine’s Day to everybody out there … remember to share the love.

Now I’ve got to drive over to Exit 16 to see if that guy is still selling those frozen roses out of the back of his station wagon for three dollars a dozen … and I hear the hardware store is having a sale on dust busters …

Red Cross to Honor New Hampshire Heroes in March

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By: David Moore, Volunteer Blog Writer

Best-selling author Kitty Kelley once wrote: “A hero is someone we can admire without apology.” In these days where we increasingly seem to prefer electronic contact over human contact, it’s nice to know that there are still ordinary people out there who show extraordinary courage by jumping into a pond to save a life, or running towards an accident scene to help those involved, or spending hours on a donation table just because it’s the right thing to do … because somebody needs help. These are the kinds of people we can really “admire without apology.”

Next month the New Hampshire Region of American Red Cross and Unitil Corporation will do just that! And … lucky you … you still have time to join the party.

On Thursday, March 6th, The American Red Cross New Hampshire Region will Host the 2014 Heroes Breakfast along with Unitil Corporation as this year’s Title Sponsor, will be held from 7:30 am – 9 am in the Dining and Conference Facility at Southern New Hampshire University, located at 2500 North River Road in Manchester. We are grateful to not only Unitil for their sponsorship, but the other sponsors who contributed to this important event that celebrates both that heroic spirit that compels us to reach out and some of your friends and neighbors out there who answered that call.

 $200 for a table. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Lucie Thibodeau by either calling (603) 889-6664 ext. 228 or by e-mailing lucie.thibodeau@redcross.org. For more updated information, please “like” us on Facebook by visiting us today at www.facebook.com/nhredcross, or follow us on twitter at www.twitter.com/NHRedCross.

Here are this year’s Heroes:

  • Kellie Barr-Foster, of Barrington, was rock climbing at Stonehouse Pond in Barrington when she heard shouting coming from the pond. A fisherman had capsized his boat and was under duress, weighted down by his waders and fishing line tangled around his legs. Kellie quickly jumped into the water and swam him to safety.
  • For over 13 years, Christopher Bridge, of Portsmouth, has been making it his priority to donate platelets on a regular basis. The time required to collect platelets is approximately 2 hours, so consistent donors are scarce and with a shelf life of only 5 days, the need for platelets is great. As a double needle triple unit donor, Chris’ commitment is invaluable.
  • Described as “an angel sent by God,” Robin Comstock, President/CEO of the Greater Manchester Chamber of Commerce, was behind a car when it was involved in a serious accident. She immediately stopped and ran to aid the driver of the car, who had been seriously injured. She provided a compassionate presence and support to the victim and her daughter until the EMTs arrived.
  • Soldiers of the Fox Company, 1-169th AV of the New Hampshire National Guard performed hundreds of life saving missions in Afghanistan, carrying 527 patients to higher levels of care, and were the first aircrews to provide blood transfusions during flight.
  • The Waterville Valley Academy Staff sprang into action when a 14 year old at their summer training camp went into cardiac arrest during training. Several of the coaches worked together to perform CPR while a patroller quickly responded with an AED and oxygen.

Keep Safe while Keeping Warm this Winter

I have a friend who owns an 18th century warming pan with a brass-tipped hickory handle and a discolored copper pan that’s held glowing embers on countless cold nights when the homeowner was looking for a way to keep his wife’s toes warm in bed. History doesn’t record how many toes were scorched or sheets blackened, however, nor does it tell how many fires were started.

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Of course, what was high technology back then seems like a foolish idea today. But that Yankee drive to find a cost-effective way to heat the house makes winter one of the busiest seasons for home fires. In fact, New Hampshire Red Cross Disaster Action Team members have responded to more than thirty fires across New Hampshire over the past sixty days, helping out with immediate needs for temporary shelter, food, clothing, health and mental health services, referrals, and additional resources.

“Advance planning is the best way to keep your family safe,” said Maria White, CEO of Red Cross New Hampshire. “The best way to protect your family is to install a smoke alarm and develop and practice a fire escape plan.”

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Additional recommendations include:

  • Install smoke alarms on every level of the house and inside bedrooms.
  • Replace batteries in smoke alarms at least once a year. Test each alarm monthly by pushing the test button.
  • Ensure that household members know two ways to escape from every room and designate a place to meet outside of your house in case of a fire. Practice your plan at least twice a year.

 

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Visit www.redcross.org/homefires for additional fire safety tips. Download the American Red Cross First Aid App for life-saving information on what to do for first aid emergencies. The following list of American Red Cross fact sheets links you to some good factual and organizational information covering fire safety and prevention tips, escape planning, CO poisoning and more:

 

Business should be prepared, as well, because fire is the most common of all business disasters. Companies, schools and other organizations can learn how to prepare for fires and other emergencies by becoming a member of the Red Cross Ready Rating™ Program at www.readyrating.org. Complete a free, online assessment of your current readiness level and receive customized feedback with tips to improve preparedness.

So, while you guys go and check out all this information, I need to drive down to the department store and pick up a new set of sheets … and maybe a mattress … before my wife gets home from her trip. On the way I can return that darn antique warming pan …

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