An official with the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus is scouting locations in Grove City to put on training to teach people how to save lives.

An official with the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus is scouting locations in Grove City to put on training to teach people how to save lives.

And be better baby sitters.

And be safer in their homes.

And be better caregivers to aging parents.

Perhaps best known for giving people cookies while taking their blood, as well as for providing relief in disasters both major and minor, the American Red Cross also has a strong emphasis on education, according to Tracy Moore, director of health and safety services for the Columbus chapter.

While the blood donations and emergency services aspects of the humanitarian service organization, which was established on an international basis in 1864 at the first Geneva Convention, are more familiar to most people, first aid and other life-saving training is also an important part of the organization's mission, Moore said.

The Zanesville native is in her second stint with the Red Cross, the first having been in Buffalo, N.Y., in the aftermath of the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

Moore, who attended Ohio State University after graduating from high school, has been with the American Red Cross of Greater Columbus for the past two years.

She has a background in corporate training, primarily in the insurance industry - Moore calls herself a "Nationwide brat" because her father was a field representative for the company in Zanesville - and so finds working in the training aspects of the Red Cross a nice fit.

"I love my job," Moore said.

That job involves, in part, finding suburban locations for the various health and safety classes the chapter offers, in addition to those given at the headquarters at 995 E. Broad St.

Moore would like to find some highly visible sites in Grove City where classes could be held.

"We need a place right at Stringtown Road and I-71," she declared.

Typically, space is donated to the Red Cross for the training and in return staff members receive instruction in CPR, first aid and other programs free of charge.

"It's a very nice tradeoff," Moore said.

Red Cross personnel provide instruction in basic first aid, which requires four hours of class time and offers certification lasting three years, and CPR training to coming to the aid of adults, children and even infants. That course leads to a one-year certification.

A totally updated version of the course for baby sitting will be rolled out July 1, according to Moore. Designed for young people between the ages of 11 and 15, the instruction provides not only safety training but also information on fun games, healthy recipes and business pointers.

"It is a wonderful thing for children to be able to say they have this Red Cross certification," Moore said. "They walk away with incredible tools."

The baby sitter training consists of a total of eight hours of class time and the certification has no expiration date.

Almost all of the Red Cross course offerings are aimed at saving lives and improving preparedness for facing some of life's dire eventualities.

"So that you're prepared in any situation to respond appropriately to minimize injury, to save a life," Moore said.

While many people take Red Cross first aid, CPR or other instruction because their jobs require it, Moore pointed out that these life-saving skills are just as, if not more, likely to come into play in coming to the aid of friends and family members.

For more information, Moore may be reached by calling 253-2740, extension 2573, or by e-mail, MooreTracy@usa.redcross.org.

Moore will be writing occasional columns on health and safety topics for The Grove City Record. The first is scheduled to appear next week.

kparks@thisweeknews.com