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Thursday, December 19, 2013

Red Cross Instructor Honored For 50 Years of Service

Doing anything for half-a-century is amazing and worthy of recognition all on its own. Few careers would span that length of time but when the career involves the teaching of lifesaving skills the recognition becomes that much more important.

Terri Seiple, a Licensed Training Provider who has lived and worked in Grand Junction, Colorado for 12 years, was recognized recently for 50 years of service to the American Red Cross as a Health and Safety Instructor. The recognition came as a surprise to her when she went to the Western Colorado Chapter office under the auspices of a supervisory meeting. Matt Reeves, Training Specialist for Health and Safety in Colorado was the mastermind behind the trickery. "We had to surprise her because she is not the type of person that wants public recognition." Reeves said.

Terri Seiple receives plaque for 50 years of Red Cross
service  from Matt Reeves (left) CEO Eric Myers (right)
Terri began her career as a Red Cross instructor teaching water safety in Sunbury, Pa., in 1963. Her affiliation with the Red Cross actually began much sooner. Her parents were Red Cross volunteers serving as disaster responders and instructors. As a child she was "dragged along" to Red Cross activities. "I began teaching as soon as I reached the right age," Seiple said. "Teaching water safety was just a natural thing for me to do."

Over the years Seiple has taught thousands of people how to save lives. She has taught water safety, lifeguarding, wilderness first aid, and cardiopulminary resuscitation (CPR) at the basic and professional levels. She has seen the changes in medical science that have improved the effectiveness of CPR and truly believes that every person in America should be trained. Seiple is certainly doing her part to spread lifesaving skills across western Colorado. She teaches hundreds of people each year, as many as 750 in some years, as a Licensed Training Provider for the Red Cross and as an Approved Provider for the Colorado Mountain College. She also serves as a volunteer trainer for others who want to be Red Cross instructors.

Seiple is proud of the work she does and extremely proud of her students who have taken the skills they learned in her Red Cross classes and applied them to save the lives of coworkers and loved ones.

She gets "goose bumps" when she talks about a recent event when students that she taught saved the life of a co-worker. "These guys did everything right," Seiple said. "One called 911, another took safety vests and arranged them so that the helicopter could find them, and another administered CPR." The workers did CPR for 50 minutes while waiting for emergency medical services. "The person survived the cardiac event because these people knew what to do," Seiple said. "Not because I trained them, but because they had the skills and the courage to do the right thing."

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