Holiday and Fireworks Safety Tips

This Fourth of July holiday, the American Red Cross has tips to follow to stay safer when enjoying the fireworks, traveling the highways, taking a trip to the beach, or chilling and grilling at home.


Millions of people will be on the highways over the Fourth of July weekend. The Red Cross offers these five things everyone should do to stay safe while traveling:

  • Buckle seat belts and observe speed limits.
  • Do not drink and drive.
  • Pay full attention to the road – don’t use a cell phone to text while behind the wheel.
  • Use caution in work zones.
  • Clean the vehicle’s lights and windows to help the driver see, especially at night. Turn the headlights on as dusk approaches, or during inclement weather.



The best way to enjoy fireworks is to attend a public fireworks show put on by professionals. Here are five safety steps if you choose to set fireworks off at home:

  • Never give fireworks to small children, and always follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Keep a supply of water close by as a precaution.
  • Make sure the person lighting fireworks always wears eye protection.
  • Light only one firework at a time and never attempt to relight “a dud.”
  • Never throw or point a firework toward people, animals, vehicles, structures or flammable materials.



Every year people are injured while using charcoal or gas grills. Here are several steps to safely cook up treats for the backyard barbecue:

  • Always supervise a barbecue grill when in use.
  • Never grill indoors – not in the house, camper, tent, or any enclosed area.
  • Make sure everyone, including the pets, stays away from the grill.
  • Keep the grill out in the open, away from the house, the deck, tree branches, or anything that could catch fire.
  • Use the long-handled tools especially made for cooking on the grill to keep the chef safe.



Swimming is the number one summer activity. It is super important to make aquatic safety a priority and the Red Cross is here to help you do just that:

  • Swim in designated areas only supervised by lifeguards.
  • Never swim alone! Always swim with a buddy, even at a public pool with a lifeguard.
  • Make sure young children or inexperienced swimmers wear approved life jackets, but do not rely on life jackets alone.
  • Do not leave a young child near water unsupervised, not even for a minute.
  • Enroll the family in Red Cross water safety course so everyone can learn to swim appropriately for their age.



Why should you train in First Aid/CPR? Because you could save a life one day. Here’s some of the basics of first aid training. Find out more by enrolling in a Red Cross First Aid/CPR class!

  • First Aid/CPR training can help you to react quickly in disaster situations or isolated emergency medical situations.
  • By providing this emergency response quickly and efficiently, you can give assistance to someone in desperate need, which assists the medical professionals when they arrive on the scene.
  • You could save your child’s life! First Aid/CPR training through the Red Cross helps you to be prepared for all situations. Not only can you receive training for Adult CPR, but Child CPR as well. As a parent, it’s important to be prepared.
  • The Red Cross offers multiple ways to gain knowledge on First Aid and CPR skills. In-person, online and blended learning options help make the training available to anyone and everyone with all different schedules.

Food, Shelter, Comfort and… Hope

As the retired Aviation Director for the Concord Regional Airport, Dick Lewis has not only delegated numerous tasks but also has extensive experience in communication and preparedness. An American Red Cross volunteer for three years this past June, Lewis has an impressive service record. “It was something I had thought about for a long time [volunteering] but I had never pulled the trigger.” While it may have taken him awhile to finally “pull the trigger,” there is no question, he hit the ground running.

“A board member came forward and asked me to be on the board of directors but I wasn’t convinced that was the fit for me.” Lewis stated. “That was when I made the decision to register as a volunteer and I started on a disaster action team.” He recalls his first on-call experience as a part of the team: “A tree had fallen on a gentleman’s house. It feels good to go out and help someone who is experiencing loss. Our goal is to stabilize and comfort the affected. And that’s what we did.”

For the most part, Lewis’ efforts have been focused in the local arena. “We call them disasters of one – local home fires, power outages, local flooding, and things like that.” But as all volunteers know, opportunity can call at any time to serve nationally.

Opportunity came knocking for Lewis this past spring when storms hit parts of the central southern U.S. Tornadoes ripped through parts of Missouri, Arkansas, Texas, Tennessee and Mississippi, decimating anything in their wake. Houses were ripped fromBull Shoals Lake foundations and swept downstream by heavy flooding. Many people were left without homes and food, while some searched frantically for loved ones. Lewis received his first out-of-state call, and without hesitation, he was on his way to his first national deployment to Missouri.

According to Lewis, there was only one way to describe the group as they traveled to the stricken area – “apprehensive.” He explained that the volunteers all had various expectations but each disaster is unique as are the victims. “It can be a challenge to actually implement what you learn in a class setting to a situation. It is all a learning experience and volunteers come from  different backgrounds and careers, bringing varied skills with them as a result.”

There were three districts established by the Red Cross in Missouri; St. Louis, Springfield and Cape Girardeau. “Emergency Response Vehicles from Springfield brought comfort kits and cleaning equipment to keep the mold down in West Plains,” Lewis recalls. While the disaster had not yet merited federal oversight, the state made the move to establish Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARC) across the area and the Red Cross helped put this plan in motion. Lewis helped to coordinate communication efforts to help make victims aware of MARC services. Those seeking help had ready access to everything from faith-based and government organizations to legal advice.


Lewis served an intake role as well by registering victims at the MARC and attentively listening to their stories. Lewis also made a point of frequenting a nearby warehouse to help pack supplies for relief services. He learned what the warehouse stocked for future reference and made some new friends as well. “It’s important to build one-on-one relationships with those you are working with and working to help. Communication is important in any disaster situation,” Lewis emphasizes.

When asked why he enjoys volunteering, Lewis has a simple answer. “When you are helping someone clean up after a disaster, and they look at you with this expression that says ‘you are doing this because you want to?’ It’s a good feeling going out into the world IMG_0764and reminding people there are others out there who want to help and who care. I believe we supply four things; food, shelter, comfort and hope for those who need it.”

The Red Cross is always in need of volunteers like Dick Lewis, who are the heart and soul of the Red Cross mission. Whether you have 2 hours a day or 2 hours a month, there’s a place for you at the Red Cross. To learn more about opportunities in your area, visit



Dramatic video highlights importance of infant CPR

A dramatic video showing good Samaritans rescuing an infant and a toddler from an overturned vehicle trapped in a torrent of flood water Saturday has been making the media and social media rounds. After minutes of struggling, the good Samaritans were able to pry open the doors and get inside, and then dragged the children to safety and helped to resuscitate them. If this were you, would you have been able to assist? Children and adults have different needs when it comes to resuscitation.

  • Usually, an infant has a respiratory emergency first and then a cardiac emergency.
  • The first step is to check the scene for safety.
  • Then shout the baby’s name to get the infant’s attention, tap the bottom of his or her foot and shout again while checking for normal breathing. Check breathing for no more than 10 seconds.
  • If the infant doesn’t respond and is not breathing, send someone to call 9-1-1 and someone to get an AED and first aid kit. If you’re alone with the baby, give two minutes of CPR and then call 9-1-1 yourself.
  • Immediately start CPR and use the AED as soon as possible. Give 30 chest compressions (push hard and fast in the center of the chest about 1½ inches deep at 100-120 compressions per minute).
  • Give 2 rescue breaths. Open the airway and seal your mouth over the infant’s nose and mouth.
  • Continue giving sets of 30 chest compressions and 2 rescue breaths until an AED is available, the infant shows signs of life, another bystander or EMS personnel takes over, or the scene becomes unsafe.

For more information, visit:

Infant CPR

Summer Safety: Red Cross Issues Tips On How to Have a Safe Summer

Millions of people are looking forward to having fun and traveling this summer and the American Red Cross wants everyone to stay safe.


When traveling, it’s important to know the level of ability of the people in your group and the environment around you. Sprains and falls are some of the most common misfortunes travelers may face. Sprains are the most common injury for someone on a cruise, along with contusions and other superficial wounds. Going to the mountains? Falls are the biggest threat, many due to poor decision-making, lack of skill or not being properly prepared. Dehydration is also a danger. People planning a camping trip face the same dangers.


  • Stung by a jellyfish? Wash liberally with vinegar as soon as possible for at least 30 seconds. If vinegar isn’t available, make a thick mixture of baking soda and water.
  • Mosquitoes biting? Ideally the first step is to prevent mosquito bites. If not, use an over-the-counter product to reduce the itch and urge to scratch.
  • Sick stomach? Keep the person hydrated and take a medication made specifically for someone with tummy woes.
  • Too long in the sun? Get out of the sun, cool the area and use topical pain relief medication if needed.
  • Blisters? Leave it alone to protect the area. If the blister may cause further injury, puncture at the base, clean and protect with another barrier such as a bandage.
  • Allergic reaction? Remove the person from the allergen; give them oral antihistamines if needed. If the situation is life-threatening, consider the use of epinephrine.

AVOID VACATION MISHAPS Vacationers should pack appropriate clothing, insect repellant, sunscreen and first aid items. Include soap, tweezers, wound gel, personal medication and items such as fever reducers, fungal creams and pain relievers.

TAKE A CLASS Prepare for the unexpected with First Aid/CPR/AED training. Training can give people the skills and confidence to act in an emergency and to save a life. Red Cross offers a variety of online, blended (online content with in-class skills session) and instructor-led classroom training options. Register at A variety of First Aid kits and emergency supplies are available at

DOWNLOAD APPS Download the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access on how to treat common emergencies as well as a hospital locator which is helpful for travelers. The Emergency App is a single ‘go-to’ source for weather alerts and safety tips for everything from a power outage, to a severe thunderstorm, to a hurricane. All Red Cross apps can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ or by going to

Still Time to Help Save Lives This Summer: Choose Your Day

Every day this summer is a chance to do something life changing and momentous. The American Red Cross urges you to #ChooseYourDay to give blood or platelets and ensure a stable supply for patients in need.


Blood and platelet donations often decline during the summer months when busy summer schedules and vacation plans can cause some donors to be less available to give. Additionally, blood donations at high school and college blood drives, which account for as much as 20 percent of blood donations during the school year, decline when many schools are out of session. But, the need for blood remains constant all summer long.

By choosing your day to schedule a blood or platelet donation through the American Red Cross this summer, you could give hope to a patient in need. Each day, the Red Cross needs 14,000 blood donations to meet the needs of patients at approximately 2,600 hospitals and transfusion centers across the country.

There are 2,376 hours for summer fun between Memorial Day and Labor Day. It only takes an hour – two if you’re giving platelets – to be a lifesaver. So, when you’re making your summer plans this year, make a blood or platelet donation appointment a part of them too.

To find a donation opportunity near you, download the Blood Donor App, visit or call 1-800-RED CROSS.


Be the One Who Makes a Difference – Get Your CPR, First Aid, and AED Certification

At the American Red Cross, training people how to respond to and prepare for emergencies is our core mission. We offer a range of health and safety classes that teach you new skills, keep you knowledgeable, confident and ready to respond in almost any emergency situation.

With courses to cover all key areas of training, available online and in classrooms across the country, Red Cross classes deliver the training you seek, when, where and how you need it.

Click on the links below for more details on classes for the month of May-June 2016

American Red Cross Cabarrus County May-June 2016

Asheville Chapter Training Room May-June 2016

Catawba Valley Chapter May-June 2016

Elizabeth H. Dole Chapter May-June 2016 (11)

Gaston County ARC May-June 2016

Gaston County Chapter May-June 2016

Greater Carolinas Chapter May-June 2016 (1)

Greater High Point-Davidson chapter May-June 2016

Greensboro Chapter May-June 2016 (4)

Henderson County Chapter Training Room May-June 2016


Union County Chapter May-June 2016 2016: