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VISTA Spotlight: Red Cross Rebekah!

September 14, 2011

Rebekah Hamby, VISTA

September is National Preparedness Month, so it seems fitting that the VISTA spotlight should shine brightest on our member over at the Southern Nevada Chapter of the American Red Cross, Miss Rebekah Hamby!   The Red Cross not only provides relief to victims of disaster, but also helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies. 

For two years, Rebekah has worked in the Health and Safety department at the Las Vegas branch of this national nonprofit juggernaut.  She maintained contacts with Red Cross clients in various organizations and businesses, scheduling periodic CPR/AED and First Aid courses.  She even helped train over 500 individuals at the Thomas and Mack Center last spring on Super CPR Saturday!  That’s a lot of chest compressions!  Rebekah also helped some of her clients set up their own training teams with their own instructors, allowing the mission and message of the Red Cross to spread further and wider. 

During her time at the organization, Rebekah realized how essential CPR/AED and First Aid training is in preparing for life’s everyday emergencies as well as for natural and national disasters.   However, Rebekah is quick to point out that “people who are trained in CPR/AED and First Aid courses are taught not to take the place of emergency medical personal, but to be the first people to respond and give treatment until trained personal arrive.”

In conjunction with her emergency response trainings, Rebekah was also able to co-instruct babysitting courses.  She said, “It’s been an enjoyable experience working with young people and being there to teach eleven to fifteen-year-olds how to start their own babysitting business, how to take care of children, and what to do if there is an emergency.”

Rebekah is just finishing up her second year in the AmeriCorps VISTA program.  She plans to stay in Las Vegas and continue to volunteer for the American Red Cross.  She’s also looking into graduate programs in Creative Writing.  We wish her luck in all her future endeavors and are quite sure she’ll have many stories to tell about VISTA, the Red Cross, and Las Vegas!

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