Published: December 29, 2015 – 12:20PM
There are few investments you’ll make as valuable as one in a first aid certificate, Brad Lovelock says.
The public servant was one of the first responders to a crash on Horse Park Drive in Canberra’s north last Tuesday, where a 27-year-old man was thrown from his ute after tumbling over an embankment.
Mr Lovelock didn’t witness the accident but was driving home when he came across the aftermath.
“Ten people were already there attending to the person. He was in a pretty bad state. Physically it was pretty hard to tell how much damage he’d done to himself,” he said.
Although somebody had covered the man in a foil blanket from a mobile medical kit, Mr Lovelock was the first on the scene who had trained in emergency medical assistance.
“I almost just drove past due to the fact there were so many people standing around, they normally say ‘don’t rubberneck or stop and create more fuss’ but it’s probably lucky that I did for the fact that no one else had [training].”
It was the first time the weekend swimming teacher had to put his first aid skills into play in such a major way.
“There’s obviously been other times where I’ve had to use my first aid training, when someone’s fallen off a bike or stumbled when walking around but nothing to the extent of a car crash,” Mr Lovelock said.
“It wasn’t as confronting as it might have been I guess, I probably have an ability to switch off and not really think about the damage, it’s more about focusing on what I had to do to make sure he stayed alive.”
As the patient was quite agitated, Mr Lovelock understood the apprehension of other first responders to assist but it made him reflect on the value of his first aid training.
“It was an interesting situation having that many people standing, looking but no one able to actually do anything.The fact that 10 people can be standing there and not one of them knows first aid, it’s definitely a skill most people should get or have,” he said.
This number was of no surprise to St John Ambulance Australia chairman Mark Compton.
While St John Ambulance trains about 600,000 people a year in first aid, Mr Compton said it’s not enough.
“If someone falls victim to cardiac arrest in a shopping centre they need someone to commence CPR within one or two minutes. Within three to five minutes they need defibrillation and early on they need someone calling triple-0.
“To meet these minimum standards, they need people around them trained in first aid. Seconds count.”
The organisation is pressuring the Federal Government to make first aid a mandatory part of learner driver training.
“We think it’s integral as drivers are often the first ones on the scene [of a major crash]. If someone has an obstruction in their airways or a major bleed, having someone on the spot who can manage that can make a huge difference for that person,” Mr Compton said.
And while it helps to know what you’re doing in case you chance upon a serious road accident, Mr Compton said the lives you’re most likely to be saving are those deeply entwined with yours.
“Most incidents where first aid needs to be used is with family or friends, a heart attack at the dinner table or a child at the bottom of the pool. First aid training is not difficult and is relatively easy to access and is a worthwhile investment in someone’s life.”
Or as Mr Lovelock put it: “It’s too valuable not to have.”
This story was found at: http://www.canberratimes.com.au/act-news/roadside-responder-to-canberra-crash-says-more-people-need-to-learn-first-aid-20151229-glvla2.html
Here here, nowhere near enough people are trained in our local Canberra community. If something happens to you it is going to be great that someone close by has done a first aid course in Canberra. They are going to be the difference in life or death. Make sure you book in to at least a basic first aid course in Canberra so that you can help. Contact us so that you can be trained up. We have classes every week so that you can take part in a first aid course in Canberra as soon as possible. Book now.