100,000 Fans and Me – A Rookie FASTer!

Scott Gerding and Kha Huynh volunteering at the 'Shoe
Scott Gerding and Kha Huynh volunteering at the 'Shoe

Life as a Red Cross employee is always interesting, exciting and at times a little challenging. In my daytime role, I manage aquatic relationships and CPR and First Aid instructors. Not long ago, however, I was asked to fill in as a first aid station volunteer at a First Aid Service Team (F.A.S.T.) event. “The event” just happened to be a Ohio State football game with a home crowd of over 100,000! Talk about your fish out of water! Instead of recognizing distressed swimmers I was on the look out for first aid emergencies. FAST volunteers respond to everything from bee stings to dehydration, from cardiac emergencies to the ever-present “too-much-fun-syndrome”.

In my experience, it’s one thing to teach people to respond and it’s a whole other ballgame to be the one actually responding. I have to admit, like many first time volunteers, I was a little nervous. Then I met my first aid station leader, Kha Huynh. Kha is an experienced Red Cross FAST volunteer and a student at Columbus State studying nursing. Kha’s great personality, real life experiences volunteering with the Red Cross and his schooling made it easy for him to show me the FAST ropes. Before long, I was passing out water, cheering for the home team, filling out forms, distributing band-aids and bandaging small cuts and scrapes. Even though I was helping people with only minor injuries, my volunteer experience made me feel amazing – like I could help anyone – as long as Kha was there with me anyway!

Before my day with FAST ended, I thanked Kha for his encouragement and asked for one “FAST” tip that I could share with each of you. Kha said, “Stay hydrated, eat well and don’t over exert yourself.”  Go BUCKS!

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