Can You Put a Price on Lifesaving Training??

Many people don’t see the value in First Aid/CPR/AED training.  It may be the cost of the training, the effort it takes to keep the certification up-to-date or the thought that one would never have to use it.  What if you came across an emergency that involved your family member, friend, coworker, neighbor or even yourself?  Would that change your view on the importance of life-saving training?

If you’re not quite convinced, take a moment to read the story below about a 12 year-old grandson saving his grandfather’s life when he began choking.  This is just one example of the importance of being trained.

Grandson Saves Choking Grandfather

Thursday, January 26, — When twelve-year-old Landon Tucker took American Red Cross training in First Aid and CPR (Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation), little did he know he would use that training to help his grandfather when he choked while eating breakfast.

Carl McGowan and his grandson were home alone recently, enjoying breakfast, when a piece of sausage became lodged in McGowan’s throat. His wife Martha and a neighbor, who happens to be a paramedic, were both at work.

McGowan knew his grandson had taken the Red Cross classes at school, and asked Tucker if he knew what to do. Tucker said he had been trained, but had never actually performed the skills on anyone.

“I told him now would be a good time to try it,” Carl said. “He was scared. He tried to help me and was successful after several tries.”

McGowan credits Tucker with saving his life and is thankful his grandson had access to Red Cross training. “Being trained is very important,” Carl said. “Landon saved me. I want to thank him for everything he did.”

The Red Cross has information available for download on how to help someone – adult, child or infant – who is choking, and how to perform back blows and abdominal thrusts.

The Red Cross also offers classes in First Aid, CPR and the use of an AED (automated external defibrillator), and recommends that at least one person in every household be trained. People can also take Red Cross babysitter and lifeguard training, learn how to swim, take training on first aid for use in wilderness and remote settings, sports safety training, even first aid for pets. Classes are available for individuals as well as for businesses and organizations.

According to a Red Cross survey, many have witnessed someone choking. One person in ten surveyed reported they needed help themselves because they had choked on something. Most often, 57 percent of the time, a family member came to their aid, while in 30 percent of the instances the people had to help themselves. The survey also revealed that most choking incidents occur at home, with a high percentage also occurring in a restaurant.

This year there’s still plenty of time to resolve to protect yourself and your loved ones by taking a Red Cross class. Landon Tucker and his grandfather understand the importance of First Aid training firsthand and now know what to do when an emergency occurs.

Stop On Out at the Super Bowl of Safety Today!!!

Red Cross Prepares for a Different Kind of “Ice Bowl”

No, that’s not a typo…We recently participated in a multi-faceted simulated disaster called Ice Bowl. It was aptly named as a fictional airliner crashed into our frigid, frozen water.  The inaugural Mass Rescue Operations preparedness exercise was sponsored by Austin Straubel International Airport, Brown County Emergency Management, WI DNR and the US Coast Guard. This was such as collaborative and large-scale event, that this FAA-required disaster exercise, was held off airport grounds.

With any simulated disaster, our goal is to test our processes, give our disaster team hands-on experience, simulate mutual aid, identify gaps and learn how we would react – and improve upon our systems without the pressures of actual lives lost.

The role of Red Cross in any aviation accident is defined through a Memorandum of Understanding with the National Transportation Safety Board and the Aviation Disaster Family Assistance Act of 1996. These two documents provide the framework for our response. Just like a residential fire or tornado, various first responders, federal, state, county and local departments all play a role in response and recovery.

For nine months, Judy Gregory, Red Cross Emergency Services Director has spearheaded our Ice Bowl participation and more than 50 volunteers and staff were involved during the actual event!

Local responsibilities included:

Emergency Operations Center & Joint Information Office: This is the central hub of incoming information, disaster response and public information/media relations.

At the Crash Site: Mass care workers and a mental health professional were available along with the Emergency Response Vehicle and Mobile Operations Center so first responders had a respite, could re-hydrate with water, hot beverages and food.

Three Local Hospitals: Two hospital liaisons were available so tracking of survivors could be communicated to their immediate family members.

Austin Straubel Airport: As passenger’s family members gathered waiting for official airline up-dates, they would be supported by Mental Health professionals, Health Services, Caseworkers and Security.

Family Assistance Center: St. Mark’s Church hosted this central location as family members waited for news about their loved ones. As we received tracking information on  passenger’s condition we shared that with the airline representatives. Together, with our Mental Health professionals they then met with actors posing as distraught family members.

Operations Management: This team provided guidance on the disaster on a whole and ensured the full support of Red Cross resources.

With any mass casualty event, the loss of life requires the best – and most – emotional support of any disaster. Therefore, we also included groups such as the county Mental Health Services, Public Health, Clergy Association and the Church of the Brethen so they are better prepared for the worst case scenario.

 We’re so proud of our volunteers and staff who have trained, prepared and practiced skills that make our communities stronger!

Tailgaiting for a Cause


(l-r) Joe Hannon, Jody Weyers, Andy Kaye, Mauree Childress and Steve Hansen

“We are excited to say we doubled the funds raised from last year for the American Red Cross,” said Andy Kaye, Co-Owner, of Recoveron Restoration. “When we started the tailgates the main objective was to raise funds for American Red Cross and increase awareness of the needs of our community and we are excited to see it working,” said Kaye.

Andy, his staff and their friends and family put on a free tailgate party for the community at six home games this Packers season. Guests were treated to brat, burgers and refreshments for a donation to the Red Cross.

“I am so thankful to the Recoveron staff and their families to make this event even bigger this year to support the Red Cross financially and create an awareness of the needs,” said Kaye. “You can count on us to do it again next year.”


The Winner of our Soup Ladle Trophy goes to………

CSI Appleton for their White House Soup!!!!! Congratulations!

The American Red Cross of Northeast Wisconsin sincerely thanks all who supported this year’s Soup’s On event through their monetary donations, in-kind services and volunteer efforts. 

Your support helps us to continue to provide valuable, lifesaving programs and services to our community!

Red Cross Volunteers Honor Dr. King’s Memory by Helping Prevent Home Fires

As his sister Lexus and mother Keesha listen, four-year-old London Slocum tells Randy Jordan, President and CEO of HOPE worldwide, and Patty Flowers, Southeast Wisconsin Chapter CEO, where his family will meet if they have to evacuate their home.

Thursday, January 19, 2012 — More than 260 Red Cross volunteers in Milwaukee spent the Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday helping others by going door-to-door through nine neighborhoods that have had high rates of home fires.

Together, they visited more than 8,000 homes, talking with residents about how to prevent fires and how to escape safely should a fire occur, and leaving door hangers with fire safety tips for those who were not at home.

Members of HOPE worldwide, the Milwaukee Fire Department and Sanford-Brown College joined the Red Cross for the King Day of Service, as did Keith Cruise, a former Cincinnati Bengals football player.

The fire safety program makes a difference. In Milwaukee’s 53206 zip code, home fires dropped from 80 in 2009 to 33 in 2011. In zip code 53212 fires fell from 57 to 18 during those years.

“The difference to be made here is for the benefit of other people,” said Randy Jordan, HOPE worldwide president and CEO, who also canvassed door-to-door the entire day. “These families will be able to share another birthday, celebrate another Thanksgiving, open presents on another Christmas Day because of our efforts.”

Gerald Washington, assistant fire chief and local Red Cross board member, along with 30 Milwaukee firefighters, joined the volunteers and installed smoke alarms when no functioning alarm was present in a home.

On a block close to the fire station, not a single home had a working smoke detector. Residents told firefighters they didn’t feel they needed an alarm because they lived so close to the firehouse. When installing an alarm in one home, a firefighter removed a lawnmower and other flammable items stored next to the furnace.

“What we do today will always impact tomorrow,” said Cruise.

Similar volunteer activities took place this holiday, from Milwaukee to New Orleans, and from New York to Los Angeles, as Red Cross volunteers answered The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King’s call to service by teaching others about fire safety.

Fire is the biggest disaster threat to American families—not floods, hurricanes or tornadoes. On average, the American Red Cross provides food, shelter, comfort and hope to people affected by approximately 63,000 fires every year, or about one fire every eight minutes. For fire safety information, visit the Help Prevent Home Fires pages of

About the American Red Cross: The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at

Holocaust Survivors and their Families Continue to Turn to the Greater NY Red Cross

This article was posted on on January 6th 2012 on our National Red Cross Blog. I wanted to share with people from our community because this is a service that many of you may not even know the Red Cross is involved in. What great stories of hope!  

This post is by Jennifer Baker, Regional Manager, Service Programs, Greater New York Region

For the past 20 years, the Greater NY Red Cross has been providing Holocaust tracing services through The American Red Cross Holocaust and War Victims Tracing Center, a national clearinghouse for persons seeking the fates of loved ones missing since the Holocaust and its aftermath.

I’ve been involved with the program at the Greater New York Chapter (now the Greater New York Region) since October 2007 and have had the honor to hear people’s stories and help with their journey to find answers about their family.

This program aims to reconnect survivors separated by the Holocaust during World War II, but often it assists U.S. residents, searching for themselves or for family members, in finding information regarding proof of internment, forced/slave labor, or evacuation.

To locate information, we use the worldwide network of more than 185 Red Cross and Red Crescent societies including the Magen David Adom in Israel. We also consult museums, archives and international organizations to further facilitate tracing requests.

As the years pass, sadly, there are fewer survivors to reconnect. Often, the end result of a search is proof of what a survivor endured. This result, though less than what was hoped for, is often invaluable to the person initiating the search.

Six years ago Ruth Schloss opened a case to see if she could learn the fate of her parents. She’d last seen them 70 years earlier, frail and starving, at Camp de Gurs, a work/holding camp in southwestern France, when she was fourteen. Through that search, Ruth learned that her parents died at Auschwitz. Although this was sad news, it provided Ruth with the closure she needed. “I can’t thank the Red Cross enough,” Ruth told my predecessor.

Now, nearly 67 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, fewer and fewer survivors are able to initiate cases themselves. Despite this reality, my team continues to receive new inquiries. The difference is that today, many of these new cases are initiated by the children, and sometimes the grandchildren, of Holocaust survivors.

Most are searching on behalf of elderly parents whose memories or mental states are in decline. That was the situation when Anna Zvi, a Queens, resident and mother of two, initiated a tracing case through the Greater NY Red Cross for her elderly mother, Holocaust survivor Mania Kichell.

Mania’s condition was not the only factor behind Anna’s inquiry. Anna’s daughter Simone helped convince her mother to begin the search; Simone had always thirsted to know more about her grandmother’s Holocaust experiences, but Mania chose not to speak about them.

Zvi and her family were thrilled to receive public records obtained by the Polish Red Cross confirming her mother’s residence in the Lodz Ghetto and liberation from Bergen-Belsen, as well as her mother’s Polish birth certificate.

“The Red Cross relates to people with a lot of heart,” said Zvi. “I’m blessed to have had their help. Having this information means so much to me and to my children.”

This summer the Greater NY Red Cross ran an article about Zvi’s tracing story on our website; it was picked up in September by the Queens Gazette. I’m happy to report that as a result of the Gazette article, a number of new tracing cases have been initiated with my team. Most of these were initiated by individuals who were unaware of our tracing services until reading the article.

Sometimes, though a stroke of luck, a tracing search yields another kind of favorable outcome: Family members are united with relatives by surprise. After Harriet D., the daughter of a survivor, initiated a tracing inquiry on an uncle earlier this year, we concurrently received a tracing request from the Magen David Adom in Israel searching for information on both Harriet’s mother and another uncle. As a result, Harriet was able to connect with a cousin in Israel she didn’t know existed, and relatives in both the U.S. and Israel have reestablished contact.

In my mind, our Holocaust Tracing program is not only an opportunity to find answers, locate lost relatives and potentially bring closure to survivors and their families; it’s a remarkable opportunity to preserve their voices and stories.

As Anna Zvi so eloquently pointed out to me: “My mother is unable to impart this information in her own voice, that’s why I get so emotional when I receive a new piece of documentation. It’s as if someone was speaking for my mother and saying, ‘Yes, she endured this; Yes, we know.’”

American Red Cross Helping Haiti Recover and Rebuild at Two-Year Anniversary of Earthquake

The Red Cross to date has spent and signed agreements to spend $330 million on Haiti earthquake relief and recovery efforts

Two years after the Haiti earthquake, the American Red Cross is helping people rebuild their homes and their lives and improving communities with health, water and sanitation projects.

In a two-year update, the American Red Cross highlighted its emergency work after the 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti on January 12, 2010, as well as its recovery efforts over the past year. Recovery activities have included building homes, giving people opportunities to earn money, providing access to clean water and sanitation systems, supporting the delivery of health care, and teaching communities how to prevent the spread of diseases and be better prepared for future disasters.

“The money donated to the American Red Cross provided life-saving relief to millions of Haitians after the earthquake and is now being used for longer-term solutions such as helping people move from camps to permanent homes and communities,” said Gail McGovern, president and CEO of the American Red Cross.

“Although progress is not as fast as we would like, recovery is well underway,” McGovern said, adding “for example, the pace of home construction has increased rapidly, with the American Red Cross and the rest of the global Red Cross network providing housing to more than 100,000 people at the two-year mark.”

Other highlights of the past year include: 

  • Providing clean water and sanitation services to more than 369,000 people
  • Providing health services and hygiene education to more than 2.4 million people
  • Reaching more than 3 million people with cholera treatment and prevention
  • Teaching more than 436,000 people how to better prepare for disasters
  • Providing livelihoods assistance – grants, jobs and other help – to 114,000 people

 The American Red Cross received about $486 million in donations following the earthquake, and has spent and signed agreements to spend $330 million on Haiti earthquake relief and recovery efforts in the first two years. The largest portion of spending has gone to food and emergency services, followed by housing, water and sanitation, health, livelihoods, disaster preparedness, and response to the cholera outbreak.

“In the coming year, the American Red Cross will focus on programs to renew communities, which include constructing and repairing homes, providing clean water and sanitation, health education, livelihood support and disaster preparedness programming,” McGovern said. “We also continue to support hospitals and clinics that are critical to providing access to needed medical treatment in Haiti, and we will maintain our efforts to combat cholera and teach people how to prevent diseases.”

Housing is a priority, and the American Red Cross is shifting its focus from providing transitional homes to building permanent homes and repairing damaged homes so people can return to their former neighborhoods.

Further information on Red Cross work in Haiti, including a copy of the two-year report, can be found at

 About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at


We Knew it Was Going to Come Sometime….SNOW!!

Winter storms can range from a moderate snow over a few hours to a blizzard with blinding, wind­driven snow that lasts for several days. Some winter storms are large enough to affect several states, while others affect only a single community. Many winter storms are accompanied by dangerously low temperatures and sometimes by strong winds, icing, sleet and freezing rain.

What should I do before a winter storm?

  • Dress in several layers of lightweight clothing, wear mittens and a hat (preferably one that covers your ears).
  • Wear waterproof, insulated boots to keep your feet warm and dry and to maintain your footing in ice and snow.
  • Minimize travel. If travel is necessary, keep a disaster supplies kit in your vehicle.
  • Listen to a NOAA Weather Radio or other local news channels for critical information from the National Weather Service (NWS).
  • Winterize your vehicle and keep the gas tank full. A full tank will keep the fuel line from freezing.
  • Insulate your home by installing storm windows or covering windows with plastic from the inside to keep cold air out.
  • Maintain heating equipment and chimneys by having them cleaned and inspected every year.
  • Bring pets/companion animals inside during winter weather. Move other animals or livestock to sheltered areas with non­frozen drinking water.
  • Running water, even at a trickle, helps prevent pipes from freezing.
  • All fuel­burning equipment should be vented to the outside and kept clear.

18th Annual Soup’s On Event Supports Local American Red Cross

We’re On Our Way to Another Soup-er Bowl 

The local American Red Cross Chapter will host its 18th annual Soup’s On event on Thursday, January 19, 2012. This Soup-er bowl celebration will score a touchdown and one distinguished restaurant will earn the coveted Soup Ladle trophy and bragging rights for an entire year.

This highly anticipated event will be held from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Grand Meridian, 2621 N. Oneida Street in Appleton. Not only does the fun-filled evening raise vital funding for the American Red Cross, it highlights the many local services provided to our community, including disaster response, community disaster education & prevention, services to armed forces at home and abroad, life-saving skills training and the Shopping and Errand program which serves disabled and elderly community members.

“Successful fundraising events – and the ultimate services to people in need – can only happen with dedicated volunteers and staff. This year, we responded to a record number of residential fires, a tornado and straight-line winds, prolonged power outages, and work in our other areas of expertise expanded too.  For Soup’s On to be running strong after 18 years is true testament to our participants, sponsors and masterful restaurateurs,” stated Steve Hansen, the local Chapter Executive.

Each year area chefs and restaurateurs present either a classic soup or a custom creation of divine flavors with maximum crowd appeal. This year’s competitors include: Al Corso Restaurant, Atlas Coffee Mill, Butte Des Morts Country Club, CSI Appleton, Grand Meridian, Johnathan’s Italian Bistro, Mark’s East Side, North Shore Golf Club, Plum Hill Café, Stone Cellar Brewpub, Van Abel’s of Hollandtown and Zuppas. Throughout the evening, each attendee’s palate serves as the judge for their favorite soup, votes are cast and the golden “Ladle Award” is presented.

Additional tantalizing treats throughout the evening include appetizers compliments of McCain Foods, grilled cheese sandwiches from Simon’s Specialty Cheeses, Simple Simon Bakery desserts, Great Harvest Bread, and Culver’s Frozen Custard. The evening’s Master of Ceremonies will feature Len Nelson from WAPL radio and music will be provided by a local jazz ensemble.

Community support is also provided by numerous area businesses that support the silent auction. Fabulous prizes include jewelry, artwork, golf packages, vacation travel, sports memorabilia and so much more!  Corporate sponsors include Boldt, Coldwell Banker-The Real Estate Group, Community First Credit Union, Festival Foods, Fox Communities Credit Union, Kimberly Clark, SCA, Thedacare, and Thrivent Financial for Lutherans

Tickets for the event can be purchased in advance and at the door. Individuals tickets are $50 each and reserved table of 8 is $450.  Tickets can be purchased by calling (920)-733-4481, by visiting the Red Cross at 1302 E. Wisconsin Ave., Appleton or by visiting

The Northeast Wisconsin Chapter serves 20 counties with a mission to prevent, prepare for and respond to disasters. To learn more about local Red Cross programs, volunteer opportunities, and how you can help, contact the Chapter headquarters at 920-231-3590 or visit Find us on,, the local blog is and event photos will be at

About the American Red Cross:
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies nearly half of the nation’s blood; teaches lifesaving skills; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a charitable organization — not a government agency — and depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit or join our blog at