By Stephen Goldstein, Volunteer Health and Safety Instructor
On Sept. 24, 2016, Health and Safety Services Volunteer Stephen Goldstein was recognized at the Red Cross L.A. Region’s Volunteer and Employee Excellence Awards with a 45-year pin for his service to the American Red Cross. Here is his story.
When I first came to Los Angeles from New York in 1970, I joined a private Search and Rescue Team. This experience made me realize how important it is for of lay people and professionals to learn CPR and First Aid in order to save lives.
That’s why I became a volunteer Red Cross Instructor to provide this education to people across the L.A. area. I also wanted to become an Instructor Trainer to help teach new instructors.
Since then, I have taught hundreds of students in many different communities. One of my most memorable experiences was when I taught at the former Red Cross Inglewood Service Center. I had as a student an older woman whose husband had a heart attack. She was devastated and she wanted to learn CPR. In the first class, she had problems learning the skills. I talked to her in a caring way and supported her. When she came to the next class, her attitude was good, and she learned the skills with the help of a friend. Her friend gave me a big hug and thank you. Over the years, I have heard from several of my students who have saved lives due to my training. This makes me feel really good.
When I was recognized for my volunteerism recently at the Volunteer and Employee Excellence Awards, it made me think about how we are all part of a team at the Red Cross. Therefore, I would like to thank some of the people at the Red Cross with whom I worked closely with over the years who were mentors and friends: Joy Townsend for guiding me in my early years of becoming an instructor; Marlene Lugg for working with me as an Instructor in Wilderness First Aid and Emergency Medical Response and helped me achieve the goal; Pat Nagy, who guided me through the process; and finally Pete Hernandez, who worked with me on teaching skills and updated materials.
In addition to my teaching with the Red Cross, I have been a member of Culver City CERT since 1998 and am a member of the Culver City ARES, the radio group associated with CERT. I have been a ham radio operator for many years now and use this method of communication to assist public agencies and enjoy it as a hobby as well.
In my view, there is no such thing as being too prepared.