Sunday, October 28, 2012

Volunteer Safety Training

Attention PTA Volunteers, Room Parents, Classroom Volunteers and PTA Members: You are invited to participate in a FREE Volunteer Safety Training class on Saturday, November 10th organized by the Chesterfield County Council of PTAs. Training will include Adult and Child CPR, First Aid, AED and use of Epi-pens. Volunteers who work with students either during school hours, at after school events or at PTA sponsored events are highly encouraged to attend. Registration is required and is open until maximum capacity is reached or Nov. 8th, which ever comes first. Click the link for more information and to register for training.

This training will be especially beneficial for PTA Members who are active volunteers during Enrichment programs sponsored by their local unit PTA.  Several of our local unit PTAs/PTSAs offer organized Enrichment events and programs at their school after regular school hours.  There is a common misconception among parents that because PTAs are holding the program at their school that the CCPS rules that apply to school employees also pertain to the PTA.  This is incorrect.  

When a PTA or PTSA uses a school facility to run an event they are required to fill out a Facility Request Form and are renting the facility.  PTA volunteers do not have access to medications stored for students in the school clinic.  Volunteers also do not have access to student medical files or emergency contact information.  In most cases, depending on the day and time of the PTA event, your school clinic will be closed and office personnel may not be available.  In those cases, as Volunteers supervising students, the responsibility of the health and welfare of those students falls to the PTA.  

Current legislation does NOT require PTA Volunteers to attend CPR or First Aid Training.  There are many other non-profit organizations working with youth that DO require their volunteers to participate in safety training and most require volunteers to actively keep their skills up-to-date.  Some even require volunteers to have CPR or First Aid certifications and attend annual or biennial refresher courses.  

PTAs/PTSAs should take safety precautions into consideration when sponsoring events such as Carnivals, Dances, running or exercise clubs, organized races and other programs with an increased risk of physical activity injuries or emergencies.  Always have a First Aid Kit available, ensure that you have a means for contacting Emergency Services if needed and when registering students for activities, request emergency contact information, special medical requirements and allergy information.  Keep this information readily available during the duration of your event.  Ensure that your local unit has PTA insurance and periodically review your insurance policy to make certain that it covers medical situations or injuries.  

Attending Volunteer Safety Training and taking these necessary precautions are just a few things that PTAs/PTSAs can do to ensure the safety of our students.               

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