Two Reasons To Be Especially Thankful

As a former Red Cross certified lifeguard and CPR instructor, Christina Theiss is no stranger to the importance of health and safety training.

On Sunday, May 8th, Christina, her sons and a friend were enjoying the day at Ocean Reef Park when her friend noticed two boys being pulled out by a rip current, their heads dipping below the water. “Lifeguarding 101 –- don’t put yourself in danger – look for a buoyant object to help. But there was nothing around, so I had to either go in or watch those boys drown,” said Theiss. And so, without hesitation Christina swam out and rescued the boys.

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Christine Theiss

On Tuesday, November 29th, Ms. Theiss will be awarded with The American Red Cross Certificate of Merit, the highest lifesaving award given by the Red Cross to an individual or team of individuals who saves or sustains a life by using skills and knowledge learned in a Red Cross Health and Safety Services training course. From 1928 to the present, the Certificate of Merit has borne the signature of the President of the United States (who traditionally serves as the Honorary Chairman of the American Red Cross) and the Chairman of the Red Cross.

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Swimming is a great recreational sport that can be enjoyed by people of all ages. But it’s important to know how to be safe in and around the water. The American Red Cross offers these important swimming safety tips:

RIP CURRENTS Be aware of the danger of rip currents. If caught in a rip current, remember the following:

  • Remain calm – think clearly.
  • Don’t fight against the current. Swim out of the current in a direction following the shoreline. When out of the current, swim at an angle away from the current toward the shore.
  • If you can’t swim out of the rip current, float or calmly tread water. When out of the current, swim toward the shore.
  • If you are still unable to reach the shore, draw attention to yourself by waving your arm and yelling for help.
  • Stay at least 100 feet away from piers and jetties. Permanent rip currents often exist near these structures.
  • If you see someone in trouble, get help from a lifeguard. If a lifeguard is not available, have someone call 9-1-1. Throw the victim something that floats – a life jacket, cooler, inflatable ball. Yell instructions on how to escape the current. Remember, many people drown while trying to save someone else from a rip current.

If you are interested in learning more, please visit RedCross.org for information on Red Cross training or to sign up for a class.

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Free, fun and informative apps for parents and kids.

DOWNLOAD APPS Download the Red Cross First Aid App for instant access on how to treat common emergencies as well as a hospital locator which is helpful for travelers. The Emergency App is a single ‘go-to’ source for weather alerts and safety tips for everything from a power outage, to a severe thunderstorm, to a hurricane. All Red Cross apps can be downloaded for free in app stores by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ or by going to redcross.org/apps.

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