Thursday, August 21, 2014

Red Cross & UPS Support Children at VA Hospital

One of the new designated children's activity areas at the Nashville VA Hospital. 

As younger veterans enter the healthcare system, they bring their families to medical appointments and older veterans bring grandchildren. Children often get restless while waiting with their families and the VA Hospital staff recognized the need for easily accessible activities in a designated space. The American Red Cross Service to Armed Forces program, with generous support from UPS, recognized this need and created a solution, entitled “Our Youngest Patriots: Veterans Affairs Military Child Inclusion Project.”

On Thursday, August 14th, the new designated children’s activity areas were revealed at the Nashville VA Hospital. The “busy fingers mobile cart” offers a variety of small toys, puzzles, crayons and coloring books to keep kids occupied. There is also a child-size magnet table and chairs along with many books to choose from.

The American Red Cross is proud to serve our youngest patriots. We appreciate the kind support of UPS, who made this project possible. 

The Memphis VA Hospital will also receive a donation of activities for children for their waiting area.

DAT+GRAM - Nashville Area Chapter 8/21/14

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Three-Year-Old Hero Alerts Family to Home Fire

On Sunday, August 17th, a fire started upstairs at an apartment in Gallatin, Tennessee, while two family members were asleep. The youngest resident, Kyngzton, 3, heard the smoke alarm go off. He immediately alerted his grandmother, who didn’t hear the smoke alarm. They were able to wake up the other two family members and everyone was able to get out of the apartment safely, thanks to Kyngzton.

Kyngzton’s family had a working smoke alarm upstairs, but their downstairs’ smoke alarm was not working. It is important to have a smoke alarm on every level of your home, inside bedrooms and outside sleeping areas. Nearly two-thirds of all fire-related deaths occur in homes that have no functioning smoke alarms. Working smoke alarms cut the risk of dying in home fires by half. You should test your smoke alarm every month and replace batteries each year or if the equipment emits a low-battery warning. Other steps you should take regarding smoke alarms are:

- Keep smoke alarms clean by vacuuming over and around it regularly. Dust and debris can interfere with its operation.
- Install smoke alarms away from windows, doors or ducts that can interfere with their operation.  
- Never remove the battery from or disable a smoke alarm. If your smoke alarm is sounding “nuisance alarms”, try locating it further from kitchens or bathrooms.
- Replace smoke alarms every ten years.

It is also very important to teach children what the alarms sound like and what they should do when they hear it. Kyngzton recognized the smoke alarm’s sound and knew exactly what to do, by alerting his family.

Families should also plan and practice fire escape routes – ideally, two exits from every room.

The Nashville Area Red Cross is assisting the family of four with food, clothing and transportation.

Monday, August 11, 2014

Sometimes Heroes Wear Crowns

By Scott E. Toncray, APR


Miss Tennessee 2014 Hayley Lewis received her First Aid and CPR certificate at the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross

Hayley Lewis, 21, Miss Tennessee 2014 recently performed lifesaving skills she learned from being an American Red Cross Certified Lifeguard. A fellow pageant contestant choked on a piece of chicken and Lewis’ instincts kicked in enabling her to clear the airway of the other contestant who is also her friend. Lewis also had to perform CPR on a drowning victim when she was a lifeguard. “I just figured that it was time to renew my skills realizing how important they are,” Lewis said following the First Aid and CPR class at the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross. Sixteen other participants were certified the same night as Hayley. Her story was featured on the local Fox News affiliate.

“I can’t imagine anyone not being around who could help someone if they needed it to prolong their life,” Lewis said encouraging others to take the class and become certified. Lewis participated in a blended course that includes both online and practical classroom experience with learning totaling approximately 5 hours. “Life threatening situations can happen to anyone and I wanted to learn skills so that I could help someone again if they ever need it,” Lewis explained.

Miss Lewis will represent the state of Tennessee in the 2015 Miss America Competition on Sept. 9-14, 2014 in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

In the Nashville area, nearly 7,000 people a year receive Red Cross training in CPR, first aid and other skills that help save lives. The American Red Cross offers courses where ordinary people can learn extraordinary lifesaving skills, such as how to perform CPR, how to use an AED, what to do if someone is choking, and how to prevent and respond to other emergencies until advanced medical help arrives.

Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS (1-800-733-2767, option 3) for more information and to register for a class. 

Lewis practices how to save a choking victim on Red Cross Volunteer Scott Toncray

Miss Tennessee 2014 Hayley Lewis learns CPR at the Nashville Chapter of the American Red Cross

Scott Toncray is a public affairs volunteer for the Nashville Area Chapter of the American Red Cross and serves on the Advanced Public Affairs Team.