| Changing Lives One Class at a Time

By Mass Communication Specialists 2nd Class Chad A. Bascom, Naval Medical Center San Diego Public Affairs


SAN DIEGO (Jan. 14, 2010) Richard Creiglow (right) teaches a group of Sailors about basic first aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD) Creiglow teaches CPR for the Public Health department at NMCSD and for the American Red Cross. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 2nd Class Chad A. Bascom/Released)

SAN DIEGO – Richard Creiglow, a safety specialist at Naval Medical Center San Diego (NMCSD), was honored with the 10News Leadership Award from KGTV(Channel 10, ABC affiliate) for Community Action.


Creiglow, who teaches Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) classes for the Public Health Department at NMCSD, has been volunteering for the San Diego Chapter American Red Cross since 1995.


“It’s something I enjoy. You have to believe in the organization you volunteer for, and I believe in the Red Cross and things have just evolved,” said Creiglow.


As a Red Cross volunteer, Creiglow teaches all the health and safety emergency response, CPR for the professional rescuer, delayed level response, adult, infant and child CPR and Automated External Defibrillator (AED), basic first aid, pet first aid and wilderness first aid, adding up to approximately 300 hours of volunteer time each year not including his class preparations.


“There’s a need,” said Creiglow. “There are about 11 volunteers for every paid staff. If you enjoy what you are doing and people appreciate what you are doing it makes it easy. You get to meet new people and you always learn something from somebody.”


“Rich is one of our instructor trainers, which means he’s at the highest level of instructors that we have here in the chapter,” said Director of Health and Safety at the San Diego/Imperial County’s Chapter of the American Red Cross, Debbie Seagle. “He can teach the highest level of classes and he can instruct others to teach those high level classes. He’s one of our only emergency response instructors here who is active in actually training new instructors.”


Creiglow not only volunteers his time but also his resources. If there is a need for classroom items or things around the office, he will purchase them on his own. He consistently calls the office checking in to see if anyone needs help or if there is anything he can do, which is why Creiglow’s peers nominated him for the 10News Leadership Award.


“He’s very high energy, down to earth, approachable and entertaining when teaching, which is half the battle when trying to teach what some might consider a dry subject,” said Seagle. “He makes it interesting and exciting to learn.”


Creiglow was also awarded the Cabrillo Award this past summer by the Red Cross. The Cabrillo Award is the highest chapter honor and is awarded annually in recognition of the volunteer who has demonstrated the most remarkable dedication and service to the Red Cross, along with leadership.


“My name is on the award, but for me to get it, there is 100’s maybe a 1,000 or more volunteers that do as much as I do. The staff makes it very easy to volunteer,” said Creiglow


“If you teach a thousand people and one of them uses the skill that you taught to save a life it makes it all worth while. And that’s what it is all about, teaching people to save lives,” said Creiglow. “Volunteer, it’s easy and if you don’t want to do it for the Red Cross pick an organization that touches your heart and go for it.”


For more information on Naval Medical Center San Diego visit: http://www.med.navy.mil/sites/nmcsd/Pages/default.aspx.