The East Bay Regional Park District's Lifeguard Services staff recently partnered with Village Community Resources Center (VCRC) in Brentwood to offer local parents training in first aid. At the hands-on class on February 3rd, EBRPD Aquatics Assistant Kathleen Hornbeck led lessons in basic first aid skills such as controlling bleeding, and responding to head injuries and burns. VCRC staff provided Spanish translations for those who needed it. All 32 participants passed and received certification in first aid - congratulations!
The program was one element of the EBRPD Lifeguard Services’ outreach in East Contra Costa County. The Park District has partnered with VCRC since 2007 to provide reduced price swim lessons to families, supported by a grant from the non-profit Regional Parks Foundation. As a program partner, VCRC registers an average of 75 children for swim lessons each summer, which are held at Contra Loma Regional Recreation Area. "Training their parents in first aid was the next logical step for us," said Acting Aquatic Manager Pete De Quincy. “It’s another element of improving community health and safety.”
"It was empowering for the participants to feel they have more control when accidents happen, such as scrapes, burns and other situations that come up when you have children at home," said VCRC Community Outreach Supervisor Teresa Del Real. "It's all about making the community members more self-sufficient."
Since 2010, about two dozen children from VCRC a year have also joined the District's Junior Lifeguard day camp, which teaches first aid and swim safety in a fun, active environment. This year, some of the teens will transition into Junior Aides, assisting the lifeguards with the camps. "We hope to see VCRC kids eventually become paid lifeguards within the Park District lifeguard service," said DeQuincy, "Talk about coming full circle, right?"
Village Community Resources Center is a neighborhood based non-profit for children and families in East Contra Costa County, California. Their focus is on prevention-based programs in three areas: Education, Health Services and Social Services. www.vcrcbrentwoodca.org
The East Bay Regional Park District is a system of beautiful public parks and trails in Alameda and Contra Costa counties east of San Francisco Bay, established in 1934. The system comprises 114,000+ acres in 65 parks including over 1,200 miles of trails for hiking, biking, horseback riding and nature study. The Regional Parks Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1969 to support the East Bay Regional Park District.