Friday, December 30, 2016

Ready to Party? Safety First, Please!

By Bill Fortune

Are you ready to ring in the new year? For some of us it means having some friends over to watch the ball drop and for others it means going out to join the crowds. In either case the Red Cross recommends that you party responsibly and remember, "Friends don't let friends drive drunk!"  Besides, nobody wants to start a new year with a DUI, car accident or a trip to the emergency room.

Our partners at AAA offer this link AAA Sober Ride so you can get a free ride home almost anywhere in the country.

Here are some tips that just might help you out.

1. Have a designated driver or just don't drink and drive. Ask someone for a ride, or use Uber. See the AAA link above
2. Try to avoid being on the road between the hours of 8pm - 2am. Auto accidents due to alcohol consumption are the highest during that time.
3. Monitor your alcohol intake. If you are drinking, make sure to stay hydrated with water and that you have enough to eat.
4. Take the keys if you have a friend who is too drunk to get behind the wheel. Help your friend with a ride home. 
5. Watch out for intoxicated pedestrians or bicyclists.
6. Be careful with what you're sharing on social media. You might be embarrassed when you look at it later and you could put yourself at risk.  If "they" know where you are you are vulnerable! 
7. Ask guests to turn their keys in and put them in a secure place if you're hosting a party.
8. Make sure your guests have a designated driver or a way to take them home from your party.
9. Offer two types of drinks and drinking cups at your party - one for adult beverages and the other for non-alcoholic beverages. This will keep the alcohol away from children.
10. Do not serve minors alcohol.
11. You've heard of the saying, "It's all fun and games until somebody loses an eye." Be aware of anyone who brings dangerous fireworks at your home or at a party that you are attending. A homeowner can be held criminally and civilly liable for any damage done by safe or unsafe fireworks.
12. You'll hear about it -- someone shooting guns into the air. Firing weapons in the air is a violation of the law.
13. Keep your pets inside or away from fireworks and other loud noises.
14. Check your fence, gate latches and pet area before New Year's Eve to ensure your pets can't get out.
15. Make sure pets have a collar with a tag with your information.
16. Be careful with matches, open flames and fireworks. Home fires increase when people are careless. 
17. Make sure your cell phone is fully charged so you can call for help if needed.
18. Dressing stylishly may be glamorous but dressing for the weather, especially the wind chill, is safer. Here is a link to safety information from the National Weather Service
19. Down load the free Red Cross First Aid app. It can help you help others in an emergency. Visit to download or get it from your favorite app provider.

Here's hoping that you have a safe, happy and prosperous new year!

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Red Cross Opens Warming Shelter in Wyoming

UPDATE: 10:00 A.M. Wednesday, Dec 28, 2016

The warming center was closed at 8:00 A.M. today. A total of 25 people came to the center for coffee and snacks in an effort to wait out the storm. One person stayed at the shelter overnight but left at 5:30 A.M. Harsh winter conditions are possible through tonight across western and central Wyoming. For the latest weather forecasts and information visit the National Weather Service.

Due to the closure of Wyoming Highways 450, 387 and 59, the Sheriffs office requested that a shelter be open for stranded motorist in the town of Wright.  Blizzard conditions are reported in the area and unknown when the roads will be opened back up.  

The shelter is located at Wright Baptist Church, 225 Ranchero Drive in Wright, WY.

Stranded motorists are urged to make their way to the shelter where they will find warmth, food, coffee and comfort. 

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Home Fire Campaign Helps Veterans in Wyoming

by Amanda Fry

Saturday, Nov. 26 volunteers from the Cheyenne area worked to install smoke alarms in over 40 homes, as part of the American Red Cross Home Fire Campaign.

Red Cross Disaster Program Manager James Ledwith (L)
stands with the volunteers from F.E. Warren AFB near
Cheyenne, WY. Photo by Nigel Holderby/American
Red Cross
The weekend event was part of a joint effort between the Wyoming Red Cross and volunteers from FE Warren Air Force Base 90th Squadron.

Staff Sergeant Zachary Davidson said that he first approached the Red Cross with the idea of
Red Cross Disaster Program Specialist (r) instructs the
Air Force volunteers about the Home Fire Campaign.
Photo by Nigel Holderby/American Red Cross
gathering supplies for victims of Hurricane Matthew.  He then learned of the Home Fire Campaign, and was able to gather 10 volunteers from the Cheyenne area to help with the local project.“A lot of the homes we helped sat right next to the Base,” he said.  “We have a lot of volunteers at FE Warren, so it really is an untapped resource.”

“It was a lot of fun,” he added.

Davidson said that the event was a success; he hopes to help with future Home Fire Campaigns through the Red Cross.  He felt that he and the other volunteers were able to make a positive impact on the local community, and that the Home Fire Campaign is a great reminder for families to educate themselves on fire safety.

SSgt Davidson installs a smoke alarm while
Airman Michaels (mirror) stands near by to help.
Photo by Nigel Holderby/American Red Cross
“Fire safety is something that people take for granted,” he said, adding that many of the homes that the volunteers visited had smoke alarms that were either not working or had been disconnected.
The event was also special, as members of the military were able to help many retired veterans, who were contacted by the Red Cross through the Veteran’s Affairs program.

Since the Home Fire Campaign began, the Red Cross has installed more than 499,800 smoke alarms nationwide. 

The Red Cross responds to an average of 2 fire calls per day in the Colorado and Wyoming region.  The organization provides support for victims of disasters, including temporary housing and immediate needs.