By Mason Curran
The Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross in Provo provides classes and instruction to all those wanting to learn CPR, first aid or participate in disaster services.
Throughout the year, the chapter offers a community first aid and safety course that costs $40. The classes are held at the chapter building located on 865 N. Freedom Blvd. in Provo.
Those who take the course are certified to perform CPR and first aid. The CPR certification is good for one year, and the first aid certification is good for three years. A renewal CPR certification costs $30, and a CPR refresher course (for those who are certified but to refresh their minds) is offered for $35.
“The community first aid and safety course usually is filled up two weeks before it is held,” said April Philbrook, health and safety director of the Mountain Valley Chapter. “We also have five people waiting to take the instructor courses that are offered periodically through the year.”
The chapter also offers disaster services courses where people take classes to be certified to respond to a disaster wherever the Red Cross is needed. When a disaster hits, those certified volunteers that live closest to the disaster are dispatched to set up shelter and provide aid.
Philbrook said that their chapter responds to about 30 house fires a year. If the damage is bad enough, they put them up in a hotel for 72 hours and sometimes allot a food allowance. In extreme cases, they will even pay a month”s rent. These responses cost anywhere from $2,000 to $8,000.
The chapter is over Utah, Millard and Juab Counties and serves 379,000 people. It has four paid employees, 370 volunteer instructors and 300 or more volunteers involved in disaster services.
Bryan Bernhardt, 22, a sophomore from Ione, Calif., majoring in exercise science, took a CPR renewal course for his certification to work in home health care.
He said they went over different situations where CPR would be needed like in a car accident, when someone is choking and with cases involving the elderly.
“They provide vital information,” Bernhardt said. “You never know when there will be an emergency, so it”s good to be prepared if a situation arises. It”s nice to be able to help if you”re needed.”
Those wanting to volunteer or receive more information can call the Mountain Valley Chapter of the American Red Cross at 373-8580.