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Q&A with Angela Bernal, health & safety director of Crossroads chapter, American Red Cross

By BY MARIA LINNIKOVA
Nov. 21, 2010 at 5:21 a.m.

Angela Bernal recently joined the American Red Cross Crossroads as the new Health and Safety Director.

Victoria native Angela Bernal is the Crossroads chapter of the American Red Cross' new health and safety director.

Although she has been on the job a few weeks, she already has plans to make the Red Cross better known and alive in the community.

"I hope to meet key community figures to inform them of our services. I would like to (let people know) what we do, what we offer, and to reintroduce" the Red Cross.

The former drug intervention specialist took some time last week to talk about her new job.

What led you to this position?

In 2007, when I began volunteering, I started out with the Red Cross Bash. When the position became available, I figured, I volunteer a lot of my time for the bash events, if I worked here, I would have a one-hand-up experience, volunteering and getting paid at the same time.

As the health and safety director, how do you feel about the challenges that come with this position?

There hasn't been someone in this position in a while. That's where I run into some challenges. I want to reintroduce (the Red Cross) to the businesses and to the community, to let them know that we teach first aid, CPR, and that we can help the public become knowledgeable and aware of the services and how to handle emergency situations.

What was your first day like?

The first day was very overwhelming, but we have a great staff and I think that they were really helpful in getting me to where I need to be. They have been a huge help. Overwhelming, but I'm getting it down.

What are some of your responsibilities?

I have authorized providers, people who are certified to teach CPR and first aid, that bring me in cards. What I do, is I put all the participants in a system and then I give them their cards. I make phone calls. I try to stay in touch with all the updates with CPR and first aid, and make contact with all the businesses here. That's only day to day.

Reaching a point of success can be really hard. Was it hard for you to make it to where you are now?

It took a lot of hard work, but I don't think it was difficult. At the end of the day, great things come with hard work.

What would you say is the best part of your job?

To me, knowing that I have taught participants in the community about first aid and CPR is quite rewarding. I think I would feel comfortable educating more people in the community.

Are you planning on changing educational programs across South Texas?

We have programs that we can introduce into the elementary, junior high, and high school. Our vista volunteer is working on setting up Red Cross Clubs with Trinity and getting them involved to help them learn the basic first aid. I don't want to change anything, rather I want to make more people aware of the various opportunities and programs that the Red Cross has to offer.

How does your position contribute to the people who went through natural disasters?

I think our entire team, our office staff, would help out whether it just be collecting donations, acquiring food, water or blankets. Every part of our staff has a part in helping those involved in a disaster.

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