Greenfield’s Life-Saver Receives National Award

At only 11 years-old, Abram Suminski of Greenfield, Wisconsin, is a official recipient of the American Red Cross Certificate of Merit for selfless and humane action in saving a life. This is the highest award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains life by using skills and knowledge learned in the American Red Cross Preparedness, Health and Safety Services courses.

When Abram Suminski was learning first aid basics in an American Red Cross Babysitter’s training course, I doubt he knew how quickly he’d be putting them to use in a real-life situation. Good thing he was prepared though when his younger brother, Logan, was in need. Shortly after, the brothers were playing in their grandmother’s basement when Logan started to choke on a piece a candy. Abram saw his brother turning purple and jumped into action to perform abdominal thrusts. His quick actions dislodged the piece of candy from Logan’s throat, saving his life!

Abram’s instructor from the Babysitter’s training course heard of his life-saving story, and she, along with the Greenfield Rec. Department (where the training took place), nominated Abram for the Red Cross Certificate of Merit, which is signed by the President Barack Obama, who is the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross!


Abram Suminski holding his award with the help of his younger brother, Logan.

On Tuesday night at the Greenfield Common Council Meeting, Abram received the Red Cross Certificate of Merit. The Mayor of Greenfield, Michael J. Neitzke, and local Red Cross CEO, Patty Flowers, had the honor of presenting the award to Abram. In attendance, were some very special guests including Abram’s family, the vice principle of his school, his Red Cross instructor and the Greenfield Fire Department.

If you’re thinking about signing up for a Red Cross training course, don’t hesitate – be prepared! Information about the Red Cross Babysitting course, First Aid, CPR/AED and other training courses are available at

To see live action watch the Fox 6 news clip!


New Advanced Child Care Training for Older Sitters and Nannies

advanced child careThe American Red Cross is now offering Advanced Child Care Training, a course for people 16-years and older who are or plan to become nannies, sought-after babysitters or who are caring for kids for the first time in a residential setting.

“Parents often have a tough time finding good child care, and the Red Cross makes it easier to spot the best sitters,” said Sara Weier, Health & Safety Program Manager. “The new Red Cross Advanced Child Care Training course helps people become the best sitter they can by teaching exactly what to do in emergencies and typical child care situations.”

Parents value a well-trained sitter, as more than 80 percent of parents say they would pay more for a sitter who is trained in CPR, first aid and child care skills, according to a 2012 Red Cross survey. The course is also a good option for grandparents and other relatives who might want a child care refresher before watching young children.

Currently, the Advanced Child Care Training class is scheduled for:

  • Thursday, May 29th American Red Cross office, 1302. E. Wisconsin Avenue, Appleton; 9am-4pm

To sign-up please click here.

This Red Cross course enables people to learn while having fun by blending tried-and-true information with digital learning techniques. Participants will learn the most common child care routines and behavior along with safety inside and outside of the house. The course also includes Pediatric First Aid, CPR and AED training and certification.

Other features of the training include:

  • 24/7 access to the self-paced, online training portion
  • Hands-on skills training and assessment
  • A resource center with downloadable skill sheets on child care subjects, lesson summaries, fact sheets, templates for résumés and business cards, administrative forms and age‐appropriate activity ideas.

People who would like to sign up for the program should visit for more information. The course is eight and a half hours and costs $129. It combines two hours of self-paced online learning and six and a half hours of in-person training and skills testing. Upon completion, course takes will receive a two-year certification in both Advanced Child Care Training and Pediatric First Aid/CPR/AED.

Advanced Child Care Training is not a licensing program and does not meet all state requirements for childcare centers or daycare providers.

It is not too late to Give a Gift that Keeps Giving!

Anna Reid, a 15-year-old babysitter from Westfield, NJ wasn’t expecting to be a hero. It just happened. Anna was serving up French bread pizza to Matthew and Leia on a recent babysitting job when the unimaginable happened: Leia started choking.

The 4-year-old’s face turned bright red. Leia tried to cough and speak but couldn’t.

Anna acted quickly, giving Leia five back blows followed by some abdominal thrusts. It worked. Anna saved Leia’s life.

Anna’s mom explained that when she asked Anna how she knew what to do, Anna replied, “I’m not sure I could have told you what to do, but I knew what to do. I knew what to do when I needed to do it.” Anna said because her Red Cross training had her perform CPR in the class, rather than just show it, she immediately remembered how to respond in the moment.

“I have to say that’s really a great testimony to the kind of training that the American Red Cross offers…,” said Anna’s mom.

Leia’s lucky she had a prepared babysitter like Anna. If you were in a situation where someone was choking, would you know what to do? Take our one-minute quiz and find out!

If you want to become a certified babysitter, sign up for a Red Cross class!

Designed for 11 to 15 year olds, the Babysitter’s Training course can help your youngster—

  • Care for children and infants.
  • Be a good leader and role model.
  • Make good decisions and solve problems.
  • Handle emergencies such as injuries, illnesses and household accidents.
  • Write resumes and interview for jobs.
  • And much more!

Throughout the Eastern WI area Babysitter Trainings are being offered on the following dates:

Babysitter Training Courses – $85

Friday, December 28th 8:30 am – 4 pm

American Red Cross Oshkosh Office

Saturday, January 12th 8:30 am – 4 pm

American Red Cross Green Bay office

Saturday, January 12th 8:30 am – 4 pm

American Red Cross Scenic Shores Chapter, Manitowoc

Saturday, January 19th 8:30 am – 4 pm

American Red Cross Outagamie Chapter

Visit or call 1-800-RED-CROSS to register today.

Getting Prepared with the Babysitter’s Training Course

By Lauren Lindstrom, Communications Intern, American Red Cross

Summer is upon us, and with it the busy schedules of area families. Many of us are out enjoying summertime freedoms, providing more opportunities for area kids to babysit the children of friends and neighbors.

The American Red Cross offers the Babysitter’s Training Course for youth ages 11-15, offering them the opportunity to learn crucial childcare skills and gain the confidence to provide a safe and fun environment while babysitting.

The full-day course covers the basics of caring for infants, toddlers and older children, as well as choosing fun and age-appropriate games and toys.

Green Bay native Ava Baenen recently took advantage of the opportunity to hone her babysitting skills. The 11-year-old received her Babysitter’s Training Certificate on May 19 with two friends.

“It was probably the first time I changed a diaper,” Ava said, adding she learned the proper techniques for feeding and caring for kids of all ages and how to deal with discipline issues. “If there are kids being stubborn, we learned how to solve those problems.”

Most importantly, the Babysitter’s Training Course teaches important safety skills, such as CPR and how to respond if someone is choking.

Ava says she feels more prepared to handle new situations when caring for children. She hopes everyone looking to babysit takes the course.

“It’s a great experience, you learn a lot, and it’s fun!”

The course costs $85, which includes a participant manual and CD-ROM. You may find upcoming courses near you by visiting or by calling 1-800-RED-CROSS.

American Red Cross Tips Help Kids Stay Safe When Home Alone

Develop and Practice Plan to Ensure Safety after School

As children around the nation are returning to school, many of them will be spending time home alone after school until their parents get home from work.

The American Red Cross has steps parents and children can take to make these after-school hours safer and less stressful.

 First decide if your child is mature enough to be home alone and ask him or her if they would be comfortable being alone. Parents and guardians should develop a home safety plan and discuss it and practice it with their children. After-school child care, programs at schools and youth clubs, or youth sports programs are alternatives for children who are not mature enough or uncomfortable staying home alone.

The Red Cross recommends that parents and guardians take the following steps if a child will be home alone after school.

If the child is going to go home after school, it’s a good idea to have them call to check in when they get home. For an older child, set ground rules about whether other kids can come over when the parents are absent, whether cooking is an option, whether they can leave the home.

Other steps that parents and guardians can include in their home safety plans: 

  • Post an emergency phone list where the children can see it. Include 9-1-1, the parents work and cell numbers, numbers for neighbors, and the numbers for anyone else who is close and trusted.
  • Identify neighbors whose home your child can go to in case of an emergency that requires your child to leave your home.
  • Practice an emergency plan with the child so they know what to do in case of fire, injury, or other emergencies. Write the plan down and make sure the child knows where it is.
  • Make sure the first aid kit is stocked and stored where your children can find it; keep it out of reach of young children.
  • Let children know where the flashlights are. Make sure that the batteries are fresh, and that the child knows how to use them.
  • Remove or safely store in locked areas dangerous items like guns, ammunition, knives, hand tools, power tools, razor blades, scissors, and other objects that can cause injury.
  • Make sure potential poisons like detergents, polishes, pesticides, care-care fluids, lighter fluid and lamp oils are stored in locked cabinets or out of the reach of children.
  • Make sure medicine is kept in a locked storage place or out of the reach of children.
  • Install safety covers on all unused electrical outlets.
  • Limit any cooking a young child can do. Make sure at least one approved smoke alarm is installed and operating on each level of the home.
  • Limit the time the child spends in front of the television or computer. Activate parental controls. Use programs that limit the sites children can visit, restrict chat sites and allow parents to monitor online activity. 

Safety Steps for Children 

When talking to kids about being at home alone, parents should stress the following steps, and post them somewhere to remind the child about what they should, or shouldn’t, do until mom, dad or caregiver get home: 

    • Lock the door and make sure all the windows are closed and locked.
    • If the home has an electronic security system, children should learn how to turn it on and have it on when home alone.
    • Never open the door to strangers. Always check before opening the door to anyone, looking out through a peephole or window first. Only open the door for people that parents and guardians have given you permission to let in the house. If unsure, contact your caregiver.
    • Never open the door to delivery people or service representatives. Ask delivery people to leave the package at the door or tell them to come back at another time. Service representatives, such as a TV cable installer, should have an appointment when an adult is home.
    • Never tell someone on the telephone that the parents are not at home. Say something like “He or she is busy right now. Can I take a message?”
    • Do not talk about being home alone on public websites. Kids should be cautious about sharing information about their location when using chat rooms or posting on social networks.
    • Never leave the house without permission. If it’s okay to go outside, children should contact their parents and tell them where they are going, when they are leaving, and when they will return. If mom and dad are still at work, children should call them when they leave and when they return home.
    • Do not go outside to check out an unusual noise. If the noise worries the child, they should call their parents, an adult, or the police.
    • Don’t talk to strangers.
    • Do not have friends over to visit when your parents aren’t at home. Do not let anyone inside who is using drugs or alcohol, even if you know them.
    • If the child smells smoke or hears a fire or smoke alarm, they should get outside and ask a neighbor to call the fire department. 

Consider Babysitter’s Training for Youth Taking Care of Others

Many tweens and teens are responsible for watching younger siblings. The Red Cross Babysitter’s Training course provides 11 to 15 year-olds with the knowledge and skills necessary to safely and responsibly provide care for children and infants. Participants learn basic child care and first aid, develop leadership skills and learn how to develop a babysitting business. Contact any of the local Red Cross offices or visit for more information. 

 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


“Little Hero – Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event

Created: Jan 10, 2011, by Kristin Kent, WFRV-TV 5

First Aid and Preparedness supports Be Red Cross Ready, a nationwide initiative launched by the Red Cross to help prepare for emergencies and disasters before they happen. This initiative challenges each person to take three actions to help make their families, workplaces, schools and neighborhoods safer:
 Get a kit
 Make a plan.
 Be informed.

Kimberly High School DECA (An association of Marketing Students) has joined forces with the American Red Cross – Outagamie Chapter to help families in the community prepare for an emergency, while raising funds to facilitate the purchase of a generator to power the chapter in the event of a disaster in Outagamie County, allowing the chapter to meet the needs of the community while faced with a power outage. The proceeds from the “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event will benefit the chapter’s generator fundraising efforts.

Garrett Nelson, Hayden Hoffmann, and Curtis Schwister, 3 Kimberly High School Students have organized the “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event within their community. The “Little Hero-Big Hero” Family Preparedness Event includes age-appropriate Basic Aid Training & Babysitter Training that will be taught to children while their parents, high school age siblings, teachers, or other community members are also being trained in CPR/AED & First Aid. The entire family can walk away from this event Red Cross Ready!

Basic skills, such as CPR and knowing what to do if someone is choking, SAVE LIVES. Research shows that the shorter the time from collapse to when CPR is initiated and the first shock from an automated external defibrillator (AED) is given, the greater the chance of survival of cardiac arrest. Protect your loved ones with American Red Cross First Aid, CPR, and Babysitter training today!

To register your family for the “Little Hero Big-Hero” Family Preparedness Event, please contact the American Red Cross Outagamie County Chapter at (920) 733-4481.

Pre-Registration is required.

Date: Saturday, January 22nd, 2011 Time: 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Lunch is Provided!
Location: Sunrise Elementary School, N9363 Exploration Avenue, Appleton, WI 54915

Babysitter Training: $55.00 Per Person 10-15 Year Olds
Basic Aid Training: $15.00 Per Person 7-12 Year Olds
Adult, Child, Infant CPR/AED & First Aid Training: $60.00/Per Person 15 Years & Older