As promised in last week’s post, today I’d like to share with you the experience I had here in Texas that indirectly resulted in my becoming a blogger for the Red Cross.
If you’ve read my introduction, you already know that I’ve been involved with the Red Cross for more than 20 years. Nearly every class I’ve taken (outside of college), every certification I’ve received, and all of the volunteer work I’ve done has been through the Red Cross. Additionally, my entire professional career has been with the Red Cross. Keep this in mind as I go on…
This fall both of my kids attend preschool on Tuesday and Thursday mornings. As much as I’d like to return to work at the Red Cross, doing so isn’t in the cards right now thanks to my kids’ half-day school schedule. This half-day school schedule does allow me, however, to substitute teach.
To prepare for the upcoming school year, all of the lead and assistant teachers, as well as any substitute teachers who were interested, attended a child CPR/AED and first aid certification class. My Red Cross certifications in these areas had just expired, so recertifying by sitting through the class – even though I’ve taken and taught it countless times – seemed like a good idea.
The instructor rose and walked to the front of the room. She introduced herself, and hit play on the DVD player to introduce the, wait for it, AMERICAN HEART ASSOCIATION Child CPR/AED and First Aid course. (Insert collective gasp here.)
Though the American Red Cross/American Heart Association rivalry isn’t as well known or vicious as say, the Boston Red Sox/New York Yankees rivalry, it’s a rivalry just the same. The two organizations have the same overarching goal – to train as many people as possible in the lifesaving skills of CPR, AED, and first aid – but are constantly competing with one another to be the most-trusted and most-used heart health and safety organization.
Sitting through the American Heart Association CPR course was brutal for me, a Red Crosser for two thirds of my life. I felt guilty and uneasy, and I kept looking over my shoulder, expecting to see my Red Cross peeps scowling at me from the dark shadows in the corners.
When I finally finished my last cycle of 30 compressions and two breaths – and saved my mannequin’s life, thank you very much – I grabbed my certification and raced out of the building, fearing that if I stopped to converse with anyone I’d end up having to “explain myself”. As I climbed into my car, I knew I had to make my way back to the Red Cross one way or another, if not as an employee, than as a volunteer.
I’m curious – what led you to the Red Cross? What inspired you to become a part of the organization the first time around? What inspired you to return to the organization after time away?