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Every Day Emergencies


Emergencies often arise without warning. The American Red Cross teaches lifesaving courses to help prepare individuals to know how to respond when emergencies inevitably do arise. Whether checking for breathing, performing basic first aid or even calling for help, knowing how to quickly respond in these critical moments helps save lives.

A Car Ride Home Julie and her son Michael were returning home from Michael’s third birthday celebration in San Francisco. Strapped safely in the back seat, he was snacking on his lunch leftovers when he began choking on a grape.

“I pulled over on the edge of the freeway and quickly took him from the car seat. I tried, unsuccessfully at first, to dislodge the grape using the techniques I had been taught in Red Cross First Aid classes,” Julie wrote. “After a few more tries, and a harrowing couple of minutes while freeway traffic whizzed past us, the grape dislodged and he began to breathe again.

I always thought that if my child choked, there would quickly be help available, but that day on the freeway, it was just me and the training I had received from a Red Cross class. I'll forever be grateful for the knowledge I gained in those classes,” Julie wrote.

A Morning at the Gym Robert had just checked in at his gym for a morning workout when a man collapsed on the treadmill.

“When he was not responsive I told the lady at the front desk to call 9-1-1,” wrote Robert. “He was not breathing and did not have a pulse. The three of us then started to perform CPR and apply an AED.

Thankfully his heart started beating again in a normal rhythm after one shock from the AED and CPR. We performed CPR for about five minutes at which point the paramedics arrived and took over. The gentleman was then taken to the hospital.

A couple days later I found out that the gentleman made it through his heart attack and was released from the hospital about five days after his collapse. The paramedics said that if the gentleman had not received such timely care that he most likely would not have not survived.

I have never been in a situation like this one before and I am so thankful that I had the proper training to assist the other responders and help save another person’s life. It was definitely the most rewarding news that I have ever received,” Robert wrote.

Take a class with the Red Cross in First Aid, CPR/AED or Caregiving to be prepared to help prevent and respond to these every day emergencies. The Red Cross can help you obtain an AED for your home or organization and offer continued program management, maintenance and service to keep your AED ready to use in an emergency.