Bryce Goff Brings Passion and Experience to Executive Director Role

Bryce Goff assisting with Hurricane Harvey relief efforts
Bryce Goff (right) served as part of the Red Cross team in Texas following Hurricane Harvey. 

The American Red Cross is pleased to announce that Bryce Goff has been named Executive Director for of the American Red Cross Serving South Central Illinois.

The South-Central Illinois Chapter serves more than 1.1 million residents in a 43-county area—providing vital services including disaster relief, health and safety classes, blood collection and assistance to military members and their families. The South Central Chapter is one of three chapters in the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region.

Goff previously served as Volunteer Services Officer for the American Red Cross Central and Southern Illinois Region. In his new role, as executive director, Goff will work closely with the Red Cross Board of Directors, community leaders, more than 560 volunteers and the local and regional staff to enhance Red Cross service delivery and strengthen the volunteer and donor base in the South Central Chapter.

“As we conducted a search for a new executive director for the South Central Chapter— Bryce Goff was a clear choice,” said Lyn Hruska. “He is an emerging nonprofit leader with an extraordinary ability to build strong relationships across corporate, government and non-profit sections. Bryce’s thoughtful and inclusive leadership style, strong commitment to Red Cross values and principles, and a desire to empower others will lead to innovation and growth for the Red Cross in the South Central Chapter.”

Prior to joining the Red Cross, Goff worked in education and healthcare, including serving as Strategic Communications Manager for an international school based in Hong Kong. Goff and his family spent three years in Hong Kong immersed in the culture. This international experience helped nurture Goff’s desire for diversity and inclusiveness, which he brings to the workplace. He previously served in a leadership role as the Director of Recovery and Resilience with the Illinois Mental Health Collaborative based in Springfield.

Goff enjoys family time with his wife and their three children and his hobbies include fishing, kayaking and playing guitar.

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Don’t be Scared by Halloween Safety Tips

Halloween tips_flashlightIt’s that time of year when ghosts and goblins take to the streets for some Halloween fun. The celebration is growing more and more popular with everyone – kids to adults – and the American Red Cross has some safety tips people can follow to help stay safe this Halloween while enjoying the festivities.

SAFETY TIPS FOR TRICK-or-TREATERS

As parents get their kids ready for Halloween, here are some tips they should follow:

  • Use only flame-resistant costumes.
  • Plan the trick-or-treat route – make sure adults know where children are going. A parent or responsible adult should accompany young children as they make their way around the neighborhood.
  • Make sure trick-or-treaters can see, and be seen. Give them a flashlight to light their way. Add reflective tape to costumes and Trick-or-Treat bags. Have everyone wear light-colored clothing to be seen.
  • Instead of masks, which can cover the eyes and make it hard to see, use face paint instead.
  • Be cautious around animals, especially dogs.
  • Visit only the homes that have a porch light on. Accept treats at the door – never go inside.
  • Walk only on the sidewalks, not in the street. If no sidewalk is available, walk at the edge of the roadway, facing traffic. Look both ways before crossing the street, and cross only at the corner. Don’t cut across yards or use alleys. Don’t cross between parked cars.
  • Make sure a grown-up checks the goodies before eating. Remove loose candy, open packages and choking hazards. Discard any items with brand names that you are not familiar with.

TIPS FOR WELCOMING THE KIDS ON HALLOWEEN

If you are planning on welcoming trick-or-treaters to your home, follow these safety steps:

  • Sweep leaves from your sidewalks and steps.
  • Clear your porch or front yard of obstacles someone could trip over.
  • Restrain your pets.
  • Light the area well so the young visitors can see.

Use extra caution if driving. Youngsters are excited and may forget to look both ways before crossing.

DOWNLOAD RED CROSS APPS

Download the free Red Cross First Aid App for instant access to expert advice for everyday emergencies whenever and wherever they need it. Use the Emergency App for weather alerts and to let others know you are safe if severe weather occurs. The content in both apps is available in English and Spanish. Find these and all of the Red Cross apps in smartphone app stores by searching for ‘American Red Cross’ or by going to redcross.org/apps.

Deployed Red Cross Volunteer Risks Life to Help Accident Victim

Kathy Yaste2
Red Cross volunteer Kathy Yastes (L) and Red Cross trainer Gayle Lundeen celebrate Kathy’s heroic actions.

Kathy Yaste wanted to help those affected by the recent hurricanes, so she made the trip from Colchester to Moline for the Red Cross Just In Time training on Saturday, September 9. Kathy listened carefully to training instructors Gayle Lundeen and Paul Soebbing, so she would be prepared for what to expect, if she were to deploy to help with the hurricane relief efforts.

 

On September 14, just days after completing the training, Kathy was asked to go to Florida and work on a shelter team helping to provide a safe place to stay for residents displaced by Hurricane Irma. Kathy dug into her duties at the shelter and went to great lengths to provide care to special needs residents in the shelter to make their stay as comfortable as possible considering the circumstances.

Kathy’s story doesn’t end with her exemplary work in the shelter. Kathy and her Red Cross partner were traveling back to Jacksonville from a shelter across the state line in Georgia. Kathy, in the front passenger seat, was focused on the road as traffic was heavy on the divided four lane roadway. Just as she glanced across the four lanes of traffic, she witnessed a truck traveling in the wrong direction hit a vehicle head on – hitting the vehicle with such force that it spun the vehicle off the road. The truck sped off without stopping. Kathy asked her partner to stop their vehicle. Once stopped, Kathy risked her own life as she threaded her way across four lanes of heavy traffic to reach the accident scene. Kathy immediately called 9-1-1- and started stabilizing the 38-year-old woman, who had facial lacerations, broken ribs and the possibility of a spinal cord or neck injury from the severe impact. After a quick examination, Kathy knew she needed her first aid kit, which was back in her vehicle. Kathy made the dash back across four lanes of traffic and back again – this time with the first aid kit in hand.

Back at the scene of the accident, Kathy quickly removed a towel from her pack and placed it around the woman’s neck to provide some stabilization. Kathy also applied pressure to the lacerations and bandaged them as best as she could. As Kathy provided comfort and care to the woman, several road workers stopped and helped to direct traffic away from the accident. Kathy knew the importance of keeping the woman engaged in conversation until medical help arrived, so she asked the woman’s name, her age and also took a quick medical history. During this time, Kathy also learned that the young woman had lost everything in Hurricane Irma and what few possessions she had left were in her now crashed vehicle.

As soon as medical help arrived, Kathy approached the tow truck driver and police and asked if they could help to retrieve the woman’s possessions from her vehicle before it was towed from the scene. With her few personal possessions in the ambulance with her, the young woman was transported to the hospital for treatment.

With the woman was on her way to the hospital, Kathy and her co-worker resumed their trip back to the Jacksonville staff shelter. Upon arrival, Kathy’s heroic actions were quickly shared among the Red Cross workers in the staff shelter. Kathy has some health issues of her own, and it was decided as a precaution that she should be checked over at the local hospital. Kathy was released after a quick examination and again returned to the staff shelter.

Kathy was honored by the Red Cross for her heroic actions. She received a letter from the Deputy District Director highlighting her extraordinary service in the shelter and her heroic actions in helping the accident victim.

Kathy has returned home to Colchester. She is tired and somewhat overwhelmed by her experience. She comments that she has no idea how she was able to make the trip back and forth in heavy traffic since she has COPD and other health issues, but she says that she would do it again in a minute.

Kathy Yaste impacted many lives during her deployment and the Red Cross is grateful for dedication and her heroic actions.

Kathy Yaste