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There are a lot of volunteers out in the field preparing for disasters like Hurricane Irene and yesterday’s earthquake, but there are also volunteers in classrooms and offices around the country making sure that we can still offer the services and classes we provide no matter what happens.
As interns this summer, Taylor and I got to learn a lot from and work with the volunteers that make services possible every day.
Before I came to the American Red Cross, I never really thought about CPR training manikins, but now I know how important they are and how much time volunteers and staff spend with them to make sure they’re ready for each and every class.
Students need the hands-on experience working with the manikins in our classes to really get comfortable practicing the skills that save lives. Each student is given their own “manikin face” at the start of class, so that everyone gets the chance to practice on their own clean manikin. After each class, each manikin and manikin face goes through a thorough cleaning and sanitation process to ensure that they are safe to use for the next round of students. All the manikin faces are washed, then washed again with bleach, then air-dried, and finally wrapped in plastic wrap to be stored until they are needed for the next class. The manikins themselves are bathed with antibacterial wipes until they are squeaky-clean and germ-free. Here’s a picture of manikin faces drying in the Manikin Room
Taking care of the manikins is a lot of work, and it’s important to keep our students safe. The next time you take a CPR class, remember that a volunteer cleaned that manikin just for you 🙂