The American Legion, whose goal is not just to provide services for retired American service members and mentor youth but to also provide wholesome programs to help in protecting and growing their communities, has two educational programs planned for the month of February, and both programs are open to the public.
“My goal is for the community to see us more, for the community to know that we are here for them as well as our veterans,” American Legion Post 99’s commander, Ron LaPierre, said. “We are going to be more involved in community events and supporting our frontline workers and hosting events that will hopefully benefit the people of White County.”
The first of these learning experience events is a Casualty Lifesaving Course, which will last all day, and will be held at the American Legion Building, on Liberty Square, in downtown Sparta, at 9 a.m., Feb. 13.
“The instructor will basically teach you how to manage, evaluate, and transport people in an emergency situation,” LaPierre explained.
LaPierre stressed that the course will not take the place of the need for emergency medical services. The training is designed to assist EMS should there be a delay in their arrival or should there be an event that causes injuries to multiple people at one time, such as last year’s tornado, in Putnam County. The training even covers earthquakes and fires.
LaPierre said the course, which is technically being offered free of charge, but donations are being accepted as it is coming at a cost of $150 per person to pay for equipment and instructors, is the same one that is taught in basic military training.
“You will learn how to assess a person’s status, provide immediate assistance if needed, how to alert emergency personnel of which patients need to be cared for first, and how to help transport those who may have been injured to easily- accessible areas so that emergency medical services personnel don’t have to waste important minutes getting to and from victims but can get right to work providing the lifesaving assistance they may need,” LaPierre said.
Then, on Feb. 18, American Legion Post 99 will be offering, completely free of charge, a Naloxone training class. During the class, participants will learn how to recognize the signs of an opioid overdose and what steps to take to help reverse the immediate effects.
“We don’t think people who take the class are abusing opioids,” LaPierre said, as he was quick to say that attending the course is not an indication of any sort of risky behavior or illegal activity. “There are a lot of people who have been prescribed opioids, older residents, too, who may accidentally take an extra dose. There are people who may leave their prescriptions out and children get into them. There are people who maybe their initial reaction to their first dose is not a good one. Of course, there are those who are affected by addiction as well. We want to help all of them.”
After completing the one-hour training, each participant will be given a kit, which includes a dose of naloxone to be administered if they witness an individual in distress from an opioid overdose. The class, which is completely free, is offered twice on the same day: once at 1 p.m. and again at 5 p.m.
“We really hope that members of the White County community will take advantage of the programs we are beginning to offer,” LaPierre said.
If anyone would like to register for one or both of the classes, contact LaPierre through email at firstname.lastname@example.org. He also stated that pre-registration is required for the Casualty Lifesaving Course but is not required for the naloxone training.