How To Give Back In Times of Need

American Red Cross LogoJust a few days ago, Boston, MA was struck with tragedy as during Patriot’s Day two explosives were detonated at the Boston Marathon. Although the event resulted in death and injury, there were some “silver linings” to the event. The locations of the explosions were close to the finish line, where many medical-trained personnel, first responders, and equipment were ready and waiting.

Over the past few days, we have heard many stories of people helping others, and how in the middle of all the chaos, further loss of life was prevented. Many people ask,  “How can I be prepared to help myself and others?” While us at Cabin John Park VFD would love to take on as many capable and qualified volunteers as we can, we understand that many are not in a time or place in their life where they can put in the effort to train and serve in a volunteer fire/rescue department.

That’s why we are taking this time now to pass along a message. Ever wanted to learn life saving CPR? Are you interested in taking a class on basic first aid? These are simple classes, that usually only take part of a weekend to complete, and give you knowledge that will not only last a lifetime, but could save the life of someone else. The American Red Cross is the primary resource in the United States for learning lifesaving skills, and a point for individuals to donate time, money, and blood. Beyond CPR and First Aid anyone can take a babysitting certification course, lifeguard course, and many other small certifications. If you are interested in taking a class, we encourage you to visit their courses site where you can learn more about the courses they offer, and find a class in your area.

We also want to pass along the following messages:

  • In events such as the tragedy in Boston, the need for sustained blood donations outweighs the need for immediate blood donations. Unless messages are being broadcast for immediate donations do what you can to assist in sustained blood donations. This means waiting until time has passed during a major tragedy to donate blood due to the fact blood does not keep for long periods of time and the recovery of patients can often be extremely lengthy and require multiple transfusions over a long period of time.
  • If you prefer a monetary donation to assist with a disaster, always check with the Red Cross first to see if they have set up a collection point. Unfortunately, there are people who will take advantage of a disaster for personal gain and setup fake donation collection points. The American Red Cross is a trusted collection point, and often sets up collections for specific disasters.
  • The American Red Cross provides assistance to us on a day-to-day basis. On house fires where it is no longer safe to live in the house, or the house has been destroyed the American Red Cross provides shelter and resource assistance to the families affected. They rely on your donations year-round, regardless of current world events. This is a service the provide nation-wide, not just in Montgomery County.
  • We STRONGLY DISCOURAGE showing up unannounced to a disaster to assist. This adds confusion to the situation and delays getting those who need help the appropriate help. Check with organizations such as the American Red Cross and local government organizations before assisting at disasters. This ensures the right help gets to the right location in a timely and effective manner.

If you have any further questions, do not hesitate to leave a question below, on our Facebook page, tweet us, or even stop by the fire station. Let us help you, so that you can help others in times of need.