In February 2020, our company held a series of training on the basics of first aid. As many as 33 enthusiastic people participated. They also became members of a new group called #Safety Team, which will be responsible for helping and rescuing others in exceptional situations in our office. Additionally, the team will have the opportunity to improve their skills in the future by participating in further, more advanced courses. We already feel more secure!
Mr. Adrian Gluza from Erkao training company - a professional, experienced paramedic conducted the training for us. The main point of the training was cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and recognition of vital functions and the consciousness of the victim. We paid particular attention to the exercise of airways clearing, which is often critical. We have also practiced operating the AED - an automatic external defibrillator that significantly improves CPR performance, even if it is conducted by a person without specialist knowledge. Also, we learned how to deal with the choking of adults and children, which is one of the most common accidents that happen at home or work. With the help of a special prop, we were all able to practice the so-called Heimlich's grasp, which, when correctly performed, can save lives and health in such situations. We dressed artificial injuries, cuts, and burns, finding out how to deal with such wounds in reality. We also learned how to distinguish a heart attack from a stroke and to help someone who has fainted.
After the training each participant was equipped with a protective CPR kit. It consisted of a special mask that does not let any fluids through and protective gloves. Currently, further training for #Safety team members is being planned. We hope that thanks to them, they will be able to develop their skills and develop a new passion for the first aid further.
We were also briefly interviewed by Mr. Adrian, who conducted the training for our team. He told us how the situation with first aid in Poland looks like from the perspective of a paramedic and first aid trainer.
Why are people afraid to provide first aid?
For four years, I have been running first aid courses at different levels. I started with classes for soldiers in closed groups up to running first aid courses for companies. I start each training by giving a short introduction when I ask the question of why we do not provide first aid?
Depending on the group I am dealing with, the answers vary, but most often I hear that:
- people feel a fear that prevents us from acting effectively.
- people are afraid to be responsible for possible mistakes in the proceedings
- people think that our actions will make the victim's condition worse
- people are counting on someone else to do it for us
- people are afraid to expose another person in a public place
The best way to overcome those reasons is periodic, regular training.
That is why is it crucial to organize such training in companies?
Providing first aid is our legal duty; each of us is obliged to help another person in a situation of threat to life and health. The legal aspect is important, but the most important is the moral aspect because each of us has a subconscious need to help someone else in need. It is essential to remember that the best way to provide first aid is to call for help! During a conversation with the medical dispatcher, we will hear instructions that we MUST follow. A person without experience and medical education may forget about certain elements - the medical dispatcher does not. The first aid courses are about - explaining all the aspects related to handling life threatening situations and practicing them by ourselves. Thanks to that, in an emergency, we know how to clear airways, evaluate breath, conduct CPR and operate the automatic external defibrillator.
Do companies often decide to provide such training to their employees?
The requirement of the first aid training results from national health and safety regulations; each employee during the periodic training is obliged to complete the first aid training. Unfortunately, the time is limited and first aid is mainly reduced to a theoretical discussion without any practical training and an accurate explanation of the subject. Fortunately, this negative trend has been changing in recent years, and employers decide to organize full-time first aid courses for their employees. Based on my own experience as a first aid instructor, I can confirm that companies choose to conduct a basic first aid course once every two years, on average. There are situations where a company orders a series of training courses (4-5 days) at different intervals for designated first-aiders, with each day corresponding to a different topic - striving for the best possible training of selected employees.