Staff at the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation and St. Elizabeth Infirmary have benefited from basic first-aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training to better prepare them for emergency situations.
The two-day session, which got under way on Thursday (February 18) at the Black River Primary and Infant School, is being conducted by the Jamaica Red Cross. It forms part of earthquake awareness activities being spearheaded by the municipal corporation.
Staff are being taught methodologies in CPR as well as how to handle choking and unconsciousness, breathing problems and artificial respiration, poisoning and more.
Friday’s session covered the technical aspects of bleeding and shock, wound dressing, bandaging, burns, injuries to the body and other first-aid emergencies.
Parish Coordinator for Disaster Preparedness at the St. Elizabeth Municipal Corporation, Ornella Lewis, told JIS News that it is imperative that staff are equipped to respond when emergencies arise.
“We try to ensure we have a safe workspace and also… to assist customers. We have seen a situation where first aid was required and one of our trained staff was able to administer first aid. So I think it is something that is critical, not just for earthquake awareness but also for the day-to-day activities in an organisation,” she noted.
First Aid Instructor of the St. Elizabeth arm of the Jamaica Red Cross, Maceo Sibbles, said that first aid “should be everybody’s business” as a medical professional is not always on hand in the event of emergencies.
“First aid can be learned and taught to anybody. Every individual can save a life and with the right tools, it gives you a better opportunity,” he noted.
Patient Care Assistant (PCA) at the St. Elizabeth Infirmary, Marjorie Thompson, told JIS News that the training will better enable her to carry out her duties.
“It is very important to me because at work we have elderly persons and you don’t know what can happen when the matron is not there. So it is left up to me as ward assistant or PCA to carry out the emergency care before matron or before the doctor gets there,” she pointed out.
“So this is very good for us [and] it can be very important when you need it the most,” Ms. Thompson added.