Author Archives: larrydietz

Silicon Valley Chapter, American Red Cross thank FAST for a job well done

fast_420x279

Red Cross volunteers Liz Dietz, left, and Peg Geringer were among those supporting FAST’s work in 2017 at the Gilroy Garlic Festival. Go to this album to see photos of FAST members at the San Jose Jazz Festival that same year.

On February 19, almost 50 people attended the last official meeting, dubbed the “FAST Finale,” of the Silicon Valley First Aid Services Team, or FAST. The Silicon Valley FAST was founded in 1959 and was the most active of the few FAST groups remaining in Red Cross regions throughout the country. This dedicated local team of professionals served almost 25,000 hours just from the period of January 2015 through February 2019.

During its tenure, the local FAST had become a welcome sight at many of the area’s major public events such as the Gilroy Garlic Festival, the Obon Festival, Cinco de Mayo events, the San Jose Jazz Festival, and the Nike Women’s Marathon.

The Silicon Valley team provided a variety of services from stations, carts, and even bikes and walking teams. Team members applied their medical skills to perform a wide range of treatments, from first aid for minor injuries such as blisters, scrapes, and strained muscles to major medical or trauma events. The team coordinated responses with Advanced Life Support and transportation with regional EMS units.

In addition to treatment, the team provided a range of complementary services and supplies, including blood pressure checks, stroke awareness education, sunscreen, diapers, and more than a dozen over-the-counter medications such as aspirin, Ibuprofen, and Benadryl.

The team’s leadership included a chairperson, Peg Geringer, and a licensed physician, Dr. Ian Brown, M.D., from Stanford University, who served as medical advisor. At the time of its disbanding, the local FAST had 125 members. Reportedly at its peak, FAST had over 400 members. Team members consisted of Emergency Medical Technicians, Emergency Medical Responders, Registered Nurses, and other trained personnel.

Some past highlights included the use of AEDs to save a life at the Bay To Breakers in San Francisco, saving a dog from dehydration at the Gilroy Garlic Festival, supporting the Women’s March in 2016, and providing first aid to pigs, horses, and goats at the Santa Clara County Fair.

The team was a sterling example of a volunteer organization. Team members took responsibility for all operations, whether that be training, logistics, or rendering care. The team was composed of a diverse group of dedicated professionals of all ages and served selflessly for half a century.

The community and the Red Cross owe the local Red Cross FAST a great deal of gratitude for their dedication and service. Each of the team members contributed to the welfare of the community and to accomplishing the team’s mission.

We hope that FAST members will continue to volunteer their valuable time in service to the Red Cross and the community.

_____

About the author: Larry Dietz is a Colonel (Retired), U.S. Army Reserve, as well as a dedicated Red Cross public affairs volunteer in the Silicon Valley Chapter.

Helping people is a team sport

Photo of attendees at the boot camp

The American Red Cross Silicon Valley Chapter office in San Jose was the site of a well-attended training “boot camp” on January 20 that introduced local members of Rotary International and other attendees to the many volunteer opportunities available through the American Red Cross. (Photo: Sasha Boyko)

For more photos of the day-long event, please go to this Flickr album.

Two of the world’s leading service organizations — the American Red Cross and Rotary International — joined forces on Sunday, January 20, for an all-day “Red Cross Training Boot Camp.” The session, held at the Silicon Valley Chapter in San Jose, was designed to provide Rotarians and other attendees with “Shelter Fundamentals” training and to expose them to the many Red Cross volunteer opportunities. Read more

Red Cross, partner volunteers install more than 200 free smoke alarms in San Jose

sv-sta_01-2019

Volunteers are briefed at the beginning of the day’s installation activities.

More than 70 volunteers from the Silicon Valley Chapter and from two Red Cross partners (ARM and the Miss & Mrs. Vietnam USA) met on Saturday, January 19, at the La Buona Vita Mobile Home Park to Sound the Alarm by providing residents there with free smoke detectors. Read more

Turning White Elephants Into Angels

By Larry Dietz, Public Affairs Officer

All of us have been to the Holiday Party where you are asked to bring a “White Elephant” or modestly priced gift to exchange. When your number is called, you dread walking over to the pile of gifts and picking what you are sure will be something you would never buy for yourself and would more than likely end up at your local second-hand store.

Dr. Charles Renner and his wife, Susan, of Concord decided to do something different this year. They had been following reports of the devastation of the Camp Fire. While neither they nor their families were personally affected, they felt a kinship with those who were. “I just imagined myself in their shoes,” Susanne said.

Recognizing that those impacted by the fire needed flexible financial support, the Renners, their family, and extended friends pooled their resources and drove to the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds on Christmas Day. They hoped to be able to personally present their gifts along with a supportive hug to the people at the Silver Dollar complex, but quickly realized that this would be impossible because of the large number of people there.

Their generous donation was given to the Red Cross, which in turn will be working with St. Vincent DePaul to ensure that Renner’s generosity will benefit those who needed the help.

The Red Cross thanks Dr. and Mrs. Renner for their kindness and generosity.

Silicon Valley volunteers install over 150 smoke alarms

red-cross-logo_420x279Almost 50 volunteers from the Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross met at Fire Station Number 3 on Martha Street in San Jose on a rainy morning this past Saturday. After remarks by Captain Bien Doan of the San Jose Fire Department and superb training by Liz Dietz, Terry Unter, and Doug Moses-Batson, the teams — in spite of the rainy weather — visited a total of 52 homes in County Fair Mobile Estates and Village of the Four Seasons, in San Jose. The work was done as a part of the ongoing Red Cross “Sound The Alarm” activities. Read more

Silicon Valley Chapter supports San Jose’s Veteran’s Day Parade

thank-you-vets_420x279

Youth volunteers Tina Hoang and Angie Le hold the thank-you cards that were given to veterans. (Photo by: Mark Butler)

The Silicon Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross had a strong contingent of more than 50 people supporting the Veteran’s Day parade in San Jose on Sunday, November 11. The parade was a special one because it marked 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. Read more

« Older Entries