How 45 minutes can help you save a life

Posted at 3:43 PM, Aug 21, 2020
and last updated 2020-08-21 19:05:45-04

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - With less time spent commuting to the office, you may have a few more hours on your hands these days.

The American Red Cross is urging the community to use that time to learn how to save a life.

Medical emergencies can happen at the drop of a hat, whether that be on a local bus or even during a vacation to the beach.

That's why Executive Director for the American Red Cross of Coastal Virginia, Michelle Ellis Young preaches, "every second counts, every fraction of a second counts."

She said while much of the country is in quarantine due to COVID-19, now is a great time to look at your online options for life-saving training. "Now is just really, you know, a great time for people to start to think about 'how can I, in a COVID environment, help my community?"

If you go to the American Red Cross website, you'll find a long list on online training's and classes that are focused on saving lives.

They range from learning first aid to intervening during a drug overdose. There is even a course that walks you through how to perform CPR on your pet.

"It isn't limited to just CPR, or first aid or maybe that AED training," she said. "Our ability to be able to offer a number of courses designed specifically to still keep people engaged and able to develop and sharpen their saw but at the same time be able to help take care of families and communities is so important."

There are a number of free programs online, but some do have a fee so you'll want to double check before you commit.

The classes range from 45 minutes long to a few hours. However, if you have a little extra time, Ellis Young said you might as well take the opportunity.

"So what an investment you're making in yourself and in helping others by just a small fraction of your day, really."

Also take note that the fully online courses will have some modifications due to COVID-19.

Because the pandemic can be draining on all of us, the Red Cross also offers a psychological first aid course to support yourself and others.

"It may not be for your benefit but because you've accessed that training, and for free, you may be able to help someone else who is struggling," said Ellis Young.

Ellis Young also stresses the number of opportunities the Red Cross offers to military families, both physically and emotionally.