By Ivy Kwok Photography By Roxanne Schorbach
The New Year is a wonderful time, a celebratory period of family, love, and friendship; during which many individuals formulate resolutions to make a positive change in their lives. As for my resolutions, I look forward to making a difference in the lives of others, and I kick started that resolution just four hours into the New Year.
For the past three years, beginning at 4:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day, I have gathered with over 200 Red Cross Volunteers, in an all-in unified mission — to provide first-aid care for the myriad of performers and spectators during the eminent Tournament of Roses Parade. After shuttling to our respective stations along the five-mile parade route, we set up our first-aid equipment and prepared to treat any beloved performer or community citizen who may fall ill during the event.
At the very least, Red Cross First Aid Station Rose Parade volunteers are trained in CPR, First-Aid, Oxygen Administration, and Blood Borne Pathogens. For me, this type of training would not have been possible without the help of YFAST, the Youth First-Aid Station Training program. This program has paved the way for incredible opportunities for myself and many other young volunteers. After pouring our blood, sweat, and tears into this eighteen-hour course, we learned a tremendous quantity of vital skills. Among these were how to properly perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation, bandage wounds, provide oxygen, and maximize sanitation— which we would later be able to apply to ease the blood, sweat, and tears of any our patients.
Throughout my years as a Red Cross First Aid Station Rose Parade Volunteer, the areas I patrolled have yet to experience a severe incident. But, I am overjoyed to have worked with fellow station members and help patients safely overcome every minor incident. Whether distributing water and first-aid products, taking and documenting vital signs or comforting families, I feel exuberant from making a difference in the lives of those around me.
Despite embarking upon my college journey this year, I still returned to my home chapter, in Pasadena, as a young adult volunteer. And, I am unbelievably excited to continue my passion of helping others for years to come!
About the author
Ivy Kwok served as the Vice President on the Youth Executive Board of the Pasadena Chapter and is now a first year student at University of California, Los Angeles.