by Ariel Wei, Summer Intern, San Marino High School Red Cross Club Cabinet Member
From an early age I have felt comfortable around a pool. The main reason is because I had the good fortune of gradually learning my way around the water (although it may be because I was named after a mermaid).
However, not everyone has the opportunity to learn pool safety. Luckily, this summer, the Red Cross L.A. Region is promoting the national Centennial Swim Campaign to promote water safety.
I went to the Alondra Community Regional Park where I spoke to the Marisol Gonzalez, Area Pool Supervisor, about the initiative. I was excited to utilize my communication skills that I had acquired from being on my school’s (San Marino High School) Red Cross Club Cabinet.
Q: What exactly is the Red Cross Centennial Swim Campaign?
A: This campaign celebrates the 100th anniversary of the American Red Cross Aquatic Programs. The Red Cross is trying to reach as many communities as possible to teach people to swim, learn CPR and First Aid and enroll in the aquatic programs to reduce the drowning rate.
A: We trained and certified the lifeguard staff through the Red Cross, which funds some of the lifeguards’ training. We do a lot of water safety training, including CPR and First Aid, before the summer starts.
Q: How is this year’s campaign different from the kick off last year?
A: Based on our experience last year, we are able to serve the community a little better in terms of what programs to offer, as well about how to bring in and recruit new members of the public to the program. We have new resources about water safety information to print out and use.
Q: Do you have any stories where the project has helped others in their everyday life?
A: We had one parent, who after taking a CPR/First Aid class, went to a restaurant and had to assist an individual who was choking. She was excited that she had the chance to use the skills that she learned through this program. We are always happy when we learn that this program can help save the lives of others.