August 17, 2015

For quite a few months now, in fact nearly all year, I’ve been trying to become a member of the Red Cross Assocciation. It started on the level two security side of Madison, when I learned that the Red Cross was training members in C.P.R. and certifying them. As I was once certified in C.P.R. many years ago, I understand the importance of having such skills. All people must be recertified every two years and often the procedures change as the field of medical training often progresses. This is a skill that I already have listed on my job resumes. I understand not only the personal value for my own safety and the safety of those I might encounter that would one day need medical assistance, but I also see the value of having such a skill might bring to my future employer. So instead of having to remove this skill from my personal resumes, I hope to be certified in C.P.R. before leaving prison. Becoming a member of the Red Cross has been a more difficult task than I assumed. First, the prison needs a certain number of inmates to apply for membership before deciding to start a new class and welcome new members. As I first attempted this around January on the other side, I waited and waited for more men to sign up so I could take the class, but it never happend. Upon my arrival to this level one side, one of my first steps was seeking out the head man that runs the Red Cross and telling him that I want to sign up as soon as possible. Unfortunately I’ve run into similar problems. Most inmates have no desire to become a member, as it has no imediate reflection on their chances for release, not to mention the fact that it costs an annual fee of $14.00 to become a member, which the prison automatically removes from inmate state pay. I was just informed yesterday that there is finally now enough men signed up for us to participate in a class. Unfortunately, I’m being told that the class wont start until sometime around the middle of September, which is about the same time I’m due to leave prison and head out to a halfway house. Regardless of whether or not I make it to the class here in prison, I’ll be sure to make it a goal to sign up for classes at the local YMCA and achieve my goal of being recertified in C.P.R..

 

Steven Dybvad

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