Thursday, August 17, 2017

East Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Liana and James Pesterfield - August 2017

James Pesterfield
 This month, the East Tennessee Chapter would like to recognize the FAST (First Aid Station Team) leaders, Liana and James Pesterfield for all the work they do and for their commitment to the Red Cross. The Pesterfields lead one of the 10 national FAST teams with the American Red Cross. This group of volunteers provides the first aid and medical care for many special events in the local area and the surrounding counties including Tennessee football, baseball, softball, swimming and other events like the upcoming eclipse watching gatherings in and around Sweetwater.

James and Liana have both been FAST volunteers for 9 years. They have taken this program from a small number of volunteers to a large group that has contracts with Roane State, Pelissippi State and South College. The FAST team is so popular there is now a waiting list for volunteers to participate for every event! The FAST team was responsible for over 5,000 of the volunteer hours for the East Tennessee Chapter in the last year, spearheading the success of exceeding chapter’s goal.

Liana Pesterfield
In addition to doing activities with this particular team, James and Liana serve in other ways in the East TN chapter. They are some of the first volunteers to step up when there is a need in the building - from painting, to cleaning, organizing and doing whatever is needed to make the jobs of others easier.


The Tennessee Region is better for having volunteers like James and Liana that serve selflessly in so many ways. 

Southeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Robert Gould - August 2017

Robert Gould is our Volunteer Spotlight! Robert first began volunteering with the Red Cross in Orange County, New York after retiring from teaching math about 25 years ago. Robert says he became involved with the American Red Cross because he has always loved working with people. As a teacher of 33 years, Robert was drawn to the many people-oriented programs that the Red Cross offered. Because he has always found it rewarding to help others, deciding to volunteer with the Red Cross was an easy choice for him!

Since 1996, when Robert first began volunteering with the Red Cross, he has been involved with a number of programs and relief efforts. Robert speaks fondly of his time working to place smoke alarms in residences throughout New York and, now, Tennessee. After moving to Chattanooga a year and a half ago, Robert has embraced a role in community outreach. He is, and always has been, dedicated to informing people about what the Red Cross does and the many ways it helps people. He took the initiative to ride along on disaster response calls so that he could observe and understand the importance of this work. Robert also told us about his experience volunteering with the Red Cross in New York after the attacks on 9/11. He says that despite the terrible circumstances, it was one of the most gratifying experiences he has had. As one of only two people at his center in Orange County, he took on a leadership role in the relief efforts happening throughout New York. Despite his own significant contributions, Robert only wanted to speak of the generosity of others during this time.

Robert has a very unique, life-long connection the American Red Cross. His father, who was a commercial artist, painted posters for the American Red Cross in the 1950s. These posters, which portrayed the numerous programs and activities of the Red Cross, were circulated both nationally and internationally. Robert brought these materials with him to Chattanooga, where he was able to prepare and give a presentation on them at an annual Red Cross event. People loved hearing Robert talk about his father and the history of his paintings. One of Robert’s co-workers spoke of this event when nominating him for Volunteer of the Month. “Robert is new to Southeast TN, but he has hit the ground running.  He was very instrumental in helping us move and catalog all of our historical documents, pictures, etc.  He worked tirelessly to create a beautiful and informative display for our Annual Meeting and will duplicate that at our Heroes Luncheon in October.  Robert has a lifelong passion for the Red Cross.”

Several others of Robert’s teammates had great things to say about him. One wrote that Robert has “excellent knowledge of expertise that benefits American Red Cross and the community. He is involved in various ways and exceeds the expectations by doing so.”

 All of us here at the Red Cross are grateful for Robert’s tireless efforts and commitment to helping others. He is truly one of a kind!

Mid-West Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Haley Warwick - August 2017

Haley Warwick is our August Volunteer Spotlight! Haley has been a volunteer for the American Red Cross of Mid-West TN since May 2016. Haley currently serves as our Community Partnerships Lead, in which she builds and strengthens relationships with partners across our 14 county coverage area. Haley also serves as a Disaster Action Team Member and has been assisting with chapter recruitment and engagement. Haley consistently goes above and beyond for her team, never shying away from a chance to help a colleague or develop a new skill.  Thanks for all you do, Haley!

Heart of Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Anita Murrell - August 2017

The Volunteer Spotlight this month is our “kitten rescuer”, Anita Murrell.  Anita moved to Tennessee about 10 years ago from Rochester, New York, settling in Murfreesboro in Feb. 2016.  Anita was the first female dispatcher in the Rochester Police Department back in 1971, but her career ended up in logistics and transportation management.  She was also a volunteer firefighter and medic for 10 years.

Anita’s background is excellent for her Red Cross role as an Emergency Response Vehicle (ERV) driver- maintaining the 6 trailers we have covering 17 counties.  She manages all aspects of the ERVs, ensuring they are serviced as needed, moved where they are needed, and ready to go for a disaster call with adequate supplies on board.

Since joining the Red Cross 11 months ago, Anita has had 6 deployments, 3 national: Hurricane Matthew, Gatlinburg wildfires, Georgia tornadoes, and 3 local: Nashville and Chattanooga tornadoes, and Cookeville storm.  She is available for all disasters as well as going out on local house fire calls.

In addition to her commitment as an ERC drive, Anita works closely with Disaster Program Manager, Todd Griffin, as his volunteer partner.  She works side by side with Todd learning the position and co-manages operations, including dispatching volunteers to fires and other disasters.

Todd Griffin gives high praise to Anita:  “I couldn’t do this job without Anita, she is my right arm and a wonderful friend.”

The kitten rescue story involves a tiny kitten that crawled up on the motor of one of the trucks at the Murfreesboro office.  After closing the doors, Anita heard something and on investigation found the little kitten.  Anita adopted the kitten, naming her Red. Red is now the unofficial mascot of the Murfreesboro Red Cross office.

Anita's words of wisdom to others in volunteering for the Red Cross: “The most rewarding job you’ll never be paid for.”

Heart of Tennessee thanks Anita for her expertise in keeping the vehicles ready to go at a moment’s notice and for all that she does for the Red Cross!

Nashville Area Volunteer Spotlight, Michael May - August 2017

The August 2017 Volunteer Spotlight is Michael May! Michael puts in a lot of volunteer hours for many different positions for the Nashville Area Chapter of the Red Cross. Michael’s positions include; Disaster Action Team captain, Disaster action Team dispatcher, Disaster Cycle services, and Disaster responder. Michael first began volunteering with the Red Cross after he retired 5 years ago.
When interviewing Michael, he said the thing that drew him to the Disaster Action Team (DAT), was the action of being able to go out and help people.

“Volunteering with DAT helps me stay in touch with the community and really makes you appreciate what you have, said Michael.”

 Michael truly enjoys volunteering with DAT, and is on call all week Monday-Friday and even at night and on weekends when he is needed. Michael is truly dedicated to helping the community!
When Michael is not volunteering for the Red Cross, he enjoys watching sports.  His favorite teams are the Tennessee Vols, Tennessee Titans and he really loves watching the Hockey play offs!

Michael volunteers as much as he possibly can for the Red Cross, and does so much for our community.  Michael is an extremely valued volunteer, and we cannot thank him enough for all of the time and effort that he puts in to help and protect our community.

Red Cross Offers Eclipse Safety Tips

Millions of people are expected to make travel plans to see the solar eclipse on Monday, August 21. The American Red Cross and emergency officials are urging people planning to travel to see the eclipse to come prepared.

·         Pack an emergency kit in case you get stuck in traffic or can’t find a place to stay. Include water, non-perishable food, a flashlight, battery-powered radio, first aid kit, medications, supplies for an infant if applicable, a multi-purpose tool, personal hygiene items including toilet paper, cell phone chargers, extra cash, blankets, maps of the area and emergency contact information.

·         Be informed. Learn how officials contact people in the area you are planning to visit in case of an emergency.

·         Let family or friends know where you are going and the route you plan to take to get there.

·         Arrive at where you plan to watch the eclipse at least a day ahead of time.

·         Check the weather forecast ahead of time and throughout the day.

·         Dress in layers so you can adjust for changes in weather conditions.

·         Create an emergency plan. Determine a location to meet in case someone gets separated from your group, and where to go if severe weather occurs.

·         Because cell service may be overwhelmed, print out your directions.

·         Know where you’re staying at night. Hotel rooms along the eclipse route are mostly sold out, and rentals are extremely high in some cities. Plan to camp if necessary.

·         Keep your gas tank full so you don’t run out while stuck in traffic.

·         Download free Red Cross apps to help you be better prepared.
o   The Red Cross app “Emergency” can help keep you and your loved ones safe with instant access to large-scale event tips, weather alerts as well as the location of any open Red Cross shelters.
o   The Red Cross First Aid App puts instant access to information on handling the most common first aid scenarios at your fingertips including heat emergencies. Download these apps by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ in your app store or at redcross.org/apps.


·         If you are planning to view the eclipse, remember, looking directly at the sun is unsafe. For steps to take to observe a solar eclipse safely, please refer to information from NASA at eclipse2017.nasa.gov/safety.

Letter from Northeast Tennessee Executive Director, Glenda Bobalik - August 2017

The Red Cross responds to nearly 64,000 disasters a year, the majority of which are home fires. Working smoke alarms in a home cut the risk of death by half, and having an escape plan further improves the odds of survival. The Red Cross wants to end these tragedies and save lives, the reason why the organization launched the Home Fire Campaign in 2014.

We are asking everyone to help Sound the Alarm in Northeast Tennessee and be part of the nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries caused by home fires. 

Here in Northeast Tennessee, we are holding a Sound the Alarm home fire safety and smoke alarm installation event on September 23rd in Bristol and again on October 7th in Morristown.  Events are also taking place in Johnson and Hawkins Counties during late August and early September. Red Cross volunteers and local partners will be canvassing neighborhoods, installing free smoke alarms, replacing batteries in existing alarms and helping families create escape plans. Last year we worked together to install 1,395 smoke alarms.

There are many roles that you can fill at a smoke alarm event.  You may want to register the volunteers participating, serve the lunch provided at the conclusion, or be on a home visit team.  Please contact Angela Morris at 423-765-4218 to discuss the many opportunities.

Join us as we all work to have an impact on the safety of our community.  Please join this important effort. Together, we can Sound the Alarm about fire safety and help save lives.


Glenda

Northeast Tennessee Volunteer Spotlight, Ellen Watkins - August 2017

From West Tennessee near Memphis to Mountain City is about as far as you can move and still be in the state of Tennessee.  That is the journey volunteer Ellen Watkins has traveled.  Ellen’s husband accepted a position in Mountain City in the early 2000s, so she made the move across the state and became a Red Cross volunteer in Johnson County.

Shortly after joining the Red Cross, Ellen took Red Cross Mass Care training in the aftermath of the huge response to Hurricane Katrina. Although she did not deploy right away, she began responding to disasters locally.  Ellen now serves as a Disaster Action Team captain in Johnson County and responds to disasters throughout the county and beyond if needed.

When asked how many national disasters she has deployed on, Ellen says she has no idea.  Her most recent deployment was to Gatlinburg for the wildfires.  Ellen’s love is Shelter Management because she feels the immediate needs of people when they come to a shelter are so primary.  She loves working directly with the clients and is very protective of the clients when they are so vulnerable.  She has worked as shelter manager in many locations from New Jersey to Texas and Florida.

While she normally manages client shelters, Ellen says one of the most enjoyable experiences she had was managing a staff shelter following Hurricane Sandy in New Jersey.  She knew from experience that the staff needed their rest so she was as protective of their needs as those of the clients.  While there, she also drove the emergency response vehicle (ERV) when needed and says if she can drive an ERV in New York and New Jersey – she believes she can drive one anywhere!

When asked what she would like people to know about Red Cross in Johnson County, Ellen says the Red Cross is “ALIVE AND WELL” in our corner of Tennessee.  If you are ever up in the beautiful hills and valleys of Johnson County, give Ellen a call and she will be sure you get a royal welcome!

Regional Executive Corner with Joel R. Sullivan - August 2017

Hello, Nashville Area Volunteers!

I am very excited about our upcoming Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event.I hope you’ll join me on Saturday, September 23 as we Sound the Alarm to make homes in Nashville safer.  Many of you have participated in our Home Fire Campaign efforts over the past several years and have seen the impact our efforts have had in communities across Tennessee. Sound the Alarm, Save a Life is a new nationwide Red Cross effort to help reduce the number of deaths and injuries from home fires. As part of Sound the Alarm, our goal is to install 1,000 smoke alarms in one day in the Nashville area.

In order to make this happen, we need 400 volunteers who can install alarms and share fire escape plans with families.  If you would like to participate, please register at www.redcross.org/STAnashville.

In addition to volunteering, we are also encouraging people to raise money to help families prepare, respond, and recover from home fires. You can make a donation by visiting https://www.crowdrise.com/STANashville.

Please help us Sound the Alarm by volunteering to install smoke alarms, making a financial contribution, or taking steps to protect your own family from home fires.  Together, we can make our communities safer!



Joel Sullivan 

Monday, August 14, 2017

Letter from Southeast Tennessee Executive Director, Julia Wright - August 2017

The American Red Cross is on a mission to end home fire devastation and save lives, so we are once again installing smoke alarms across the country this year in an effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

This fall, the Red Cross is calling for 35,000 volunteers to join us nationwide. Our goal is set. All we need is the assistance of financial support and volunteers to Sound the Alarm by installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in high-risk communities in more than 100 major cities across the country. Between September 23 and October 15, our series of home fire safety and smoke alarm events will result in the installation of our one-millionth free smoke alarm.

The vast majority of Red Cross responses to the 64,000 disasters each year are home fires. These residential fires kill seven people every day and most of those deaths could have been avoided had smoke alarms been present.

Since 2014, Red Cross volunteers have installed almost 900,000 smoke alarms. The Home Fire Campaign has proven its effective value by saving hundreds of lives across the country. This year, with the help of more volunteers, we expect to see an increase in the number of lives spared.

We are constantly welcoming new volunteers and at this significant time we are looking to bolster recruitment with an invitation to new recruits who are enthusiastic about participating in the effort to save lives. The Southeast Tennessee chapter is encouraging everyone in our area to participate in our September 23rd Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event by registering online to volunteer at www.redcross.org/STAChattanooga

Letter from East Tennessee Executive Director, Sharon Hudson - August 2017

The American Red Cross is on a mission to end home fire devastation and save lives, so we are once again installing smoke alarms across the country this year in an effort to reduce the number of home fire deaths and injuries by 25 percent.

This fall, the Red Cross is calling for 35,000 volunteers to join us nationwide. Our goal is set. All we need is the assistance of financial support and volunteers to Sound the Alarm by installing 100,000 free smoke alarms in high-risk communities in more than 100 major cities across the country. Between September 23 and October 15, our series of home fire safety and smoke alarm events will result in the installation of our one-millionth free smoke alarm.

The vast majority of Red Cross responses to the 64,000 disasters each year are home fires. These residential fires kill seven people every day and most of those deaths could have been avoided had smoke alarms been present.

Since 2014, Red Cross volunteers have installed almost 900,000 smoke alarms. The Home Fire Campaign has proven its effective value by saving hundreds of lives across the country. This year, with the help of more volunteers, we expect to see an increase in the number of lives spared.

We are constantly welcoming new volunteers and at this significant time we are looking to bolster recruitment with an invitation to new recruits who are enthusiastic about participating in the effort to save lives. The East Tennessee chapter is encouraging everyone in our area to participate in our September 30th Sound the Alarm, Save a Life event by registering online to volunteer at www.redcross.org/STAKnoxville.

We hope to see you there!

Letter from Tennessee River Executive Director, Katy Hagstrom - August 2017

For the Tennessee River chapter, the month of August is a busy and exciting time preparing for upcoming events and getting out in the community to share the mission of the American Red Cross.

On August 21, 2017 Clarksville and the surrounding areas will be at the point of totality for the solar eclipse. As our area expects to double its population with visitors from around the nation, we are preparing for any event that could occur while maintaining usual business and responses to home fires.

On September 14, 2017 we will hold our annual Heroes Luncheon. This fundraiser supports our responses and recognizes those throughout the community who engage in humanitarian leadership. This year, we will honor Pastor Jimmy Terry as our Humanitarian of Year and celebrate his astounding accomplishments and Humanitarian efforts in our community.

On September 23, 2017 we will kick off Sound the Alarm. Save a Life. Sound the Alarm is part of the Home Fire Campaign as a nationwide initiative to reduce the amount of fire related deaths across the nation. So far, there have been over 237 documented lives saved. Our volunteers and partners go into communities to educate people on fire safety, as well as check and install alarms for free. So far, the Home Fire Campaign has saved two lives right here in Clarksville!

It is with the greatest appreciation that I would like to thank all of our volunteers and staff members who have joined these initiatives to make our communities a safer place.

Letter from Mid-West Tennessee Executive Director, David Hicks - August 2017

Hello Mid-West TN volunteers! It’s hard to believe that school has already begun again and that summer is in our rearview mirrors. I hope that your families are getting back into the school routine smoothly and the start of the school year has been a good one so far.

Our chapter is already “knee- deep” in planning for the fall, and most of that has been centered on our upcoming “Sound the Alarm, Save a Life” campaign. Sound the Alarm, Save a Life is a national Red Cross event taking place in every state and every chapter in September and October. Our Mid- West TN. chapter has chosen 2 counties from our 14 county coverage area to focus in on as we strive to reach our assigned goal of 350 smoke alarm installations (with a stretch goal of 400) as part of the campaign. The selected counties are Benton and Decatur with the specific towns targeted being Parsons and Camden.

Parsons will host its “Sound the Alarm” event on Saturday, September 30th from 9am- 2pm while Camden will follow two weeks later on Saturday, October 14th also from 9am- 2pm. The targeted goals by county are 200 smoke alarm installations in Benton and 150 installations in Decatur. If you would like to participate as a volunteer for one or both of the events, just let me or Heather know and we’ll be glad to add you to the participating roster. Both of these counties have expressed their appreciation to us for selecting them as our targeted areas.

A very special thanks goes out to our “Sound the Alarm” chairman- Chuck Mosele! Many of you know Chuck from his contributions on the disaster action team and as DAT Captain for Carroll County. As we visit the respective fire departments and EMA offices in Benton and Decatur counties, I appreciate even more the strong relationships that Chuck and Heather have already formed among their First Responder peers. Its moments (and events) like this where those relationships being built can prove to be so beneficial!

In addition to the “Sound the Alarm” scheduling and recruitment of event volunteers, we also have our Chapter Leadership Board soliciting funds and donor support from their friends and colleagues. They are being challenged to secure 15 people each to give toward this event. So, it’s truly a team effort from all players on the Mid- West TN chapter team!

So, what are you waiting for? Get in the game and Sound the Alarm with us! We’ll be glad to discuss the campaign further at our next All Volunteer Meeting and answer any additional questions you may have.

David

Letter from Heart of Tennessee Executive Director, Kathy Ferrell - August 2017

Dear Heart of Tennessee Volunteers:

Thank you for your warm welcome to the American Red Cross!  My first day with Heart of Tennessee was Monday, July 31st and it’s truly been a pleasure already to learn so much about this organization and to connect with some of you.  For those of you I haven’t met, I look forward to connecting with you.

My journey to the Executive Director (ED) position feels like it is life coming full circle.  I actually worked part time for United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties when United Way rented space from the Red Cross.  It was extraordinarily humbling to see the work of this group firsthand during the Good Friday tornado in 2009.  Greg King was in the ED role at that time, and the response of his volunteer base and staff alike was remarkable.  I was also serving as the President of the Junior League of Murfreesboro at the time; we voted to provide an emergency donation of $10,000 to support the relief efforts and Greg agreed to be the keynote speaker at our Annual Dinner just one month after the tornado.  I can vividly remember thinking about the scope of services Red Cross provides in so many arenas I wasn’t aware of, and I remember thinking that this is an organization I could be passionate about serving.

The past 7 ½ years have been spent at Saint Thomas Rutherford Hospital and Saint Thomas Regional Hospitals where I created, operationalized, and directed the Mobile Health Ministry.  It’s been my privilege to serve this community in that capacity and I believe that work prepared me for this role.  Through a chance conversation with Greg, I learned the ED position was open with the Heart of TN Red Cross and decided to apply.  I’m incredibly excited that I’ve been entrusted with serving all of you.  Together, we have much to look forward to.  Please know you are appreciated and I look forward to being on this journey with you.

Kathy Ferrell
Executive Director
Heart of Tennessee Chapter

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Upcoming Disaster Volunteer Trainings - Heart of Tennessee Chapter - August and September 2017

The Heart of Tennessee Chapter is looking for new volunteers to help our disaster response teams! The disaster response team responds to every day disasters here at home like home fires and tornadoes, and also has the opportunity to deploy to national disasters. Below is a list of upcoming disaster volunteer training opportunities. To register, please call 615-893-4272. We hope to see you at an event soon!

AUGUST

New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, August 19th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, St. Thomas Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Damage Assessment workshop
Saturday, August 26th at 10:30 am
Red Cross, 1 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 201 Cookeville

Shelter Fundamentals workshop
Saturday, August 26th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Thursday, August 31st at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

SEPTEMBER

Disaster Action Team Workshop
Saturday, September 2nd at 10:30 am
TBA - Smithville, TN

Disaster Action Team Dispatch Workshop
Saturday, September 2nd at 12:45 pm
TBA - Smithville, TN

Disaster Action Team and Disaster volunteer Workshop
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, 1 S. Jefferson Ave., Suite 201 Cookeville

New Volunteer Orientation
Tuesday, September 12th at 6:00 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Cycle Services Regional Meeting/Training
Wednesday, September 13th at 10:00 am
Red Cross, 2201 Charlotte Ave, Nashville, TN 37203

Shelter Fundamentals
Saturday, September 16th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Health & Safety Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Damage Assessment
Saturday, September 16th at 10:30 am
Red Cross, Health & Safety Training Room, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

New Volunteer Orientation
Saturday, September 16th at 9:00 am
Red Cross, Staff Workroom, 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Monday, September 18th at 6:15 pm
First Baptist Church, 1006 Hillsboro Blvd, Manchester

Disaster Action Team & Disaster Volunteer Meeting
Thursday, September 21st at 6:15 pm
Red Cross, Disaster Operations Center 501 Memorial Blvd., Murfreesboro

New Volunteer Orientation
Friday, September 22nd at 11:30 am
TBA - Fayetteville, TN

Disaster Cycle Services: Overview
Friday, September 22nd at 12:30 pm
TBA - Fayetteville, TN

New Volunteer Orientation
Friday, September 29th at 10:30 am
TBA - McMinnville, TN

Disaster Cycle Services: Overview
Friday, September 29th at 11:30 am
TBA - McMinnville, TN



Monday, August 7, 2017

Red Cross Issues 10 Ways to Help Keep Kids Safe as They Head Back to School

Put safety at the top of the list when getting kids ready for school

As the new school year begins, the American Red Cross has steps everyone can follow to help make the trip back to the classroom a safe one.

Safety should be the top priority for all students, especially younger children and those heading to school for the first time. Whether riding, biking or walking to school, we want everyone to arrive and then return home safely.

TOP TEN SAFETY TIPS

If children ride a bus to school, they should plan to get to their bus stop early and stand back from the curb while waiting for the bus to arrive. Other safety steps include:

1.     Wait to board the bus until it has come to a complete stop and the driver or attendant has signaled to get on.
2.     Tell children they should only board their bus - never an alternate one.
3.     Always stay in clear view of the bus driver and never walk behind the bus.
4.     Cross the street at the corner, obey traffic signals and stay in the crosswalk.
5.     Never dart out into the street, or cross between parked cars.
6.     Younger children should use car seats or booster seats until the lap-shoulder belt fits properly (typically for children ages 8-12 and over 4’9”) and ride in the back seat until they are at least 13 years old.
7.     If a teenager is driving to school, parents should mandate that he or she use seat belts. Drivers should not use their cell phone to text or make calls, and should avoid eating or drinking while driving.
8.     Some students ride their bike to school. They should always wear a helmet and ride on the right in the same direction as the traffic is going.
9.     When students are walking to school, they should only cross the street at an intersection. If possible, use a route with crossing guards.
10.  Parents should walk young children to school, along with children taking new routes or attending new schools, at least for the first week to ensure they know how to get there safely. Arrange for the kids to walk to school with a friend or classmate.

WHAT DRIVERS SHOULD KNOW Drivers should know what the yellow and red bus signals mean and be aware that children are out walking or biking to school and slow down - especially in residential areas and school zones. Yellow flashing lights indicate the bus is getting ready to stop and motorists should slow down and be prepared to stop. Red flashing lights and an extended stop sign indicate the bus is stopped and children are getting on or off. Drivers in both directions must stop their vehicles and wait until the lights go off, the stop sign is back in place and the bus is moving before they can start driving again.

Parents should also make sure the child knows their phone number, address, how to get in touch with their parents at work, how to get in touch with another trusted adult and how to dial 9-1-1. They should also teach children not to talk to strangers or accept rides from someone they don’t know.

TAKE A FIRST AID CLASS Red Cross training can give someone the confidence and skills to help with everyday emergencies from paper cuts to school sports injuries. A variety of online and in-class courses are available at redcross.org/takeaclass. People can download the free Red Cross First Aid App (redcross.org/apps) for instant access to expert advice whenever and wherever needed.