Time to brush up on first aid

PEOPLE who do not know what to do in an emergency, or have not updated their first aid knowledge, are putting their loved ones at risk.

That was the simple but stern message from Orange intensive care paramedic Matt Pickering yesterday.

His warning came after alarming statistics from Red Cross College revealed half of Australians would make the wrong first aid choice in life-threatening scenarios.

“I guarantee that someone you know in your lifetime will need first aid assistance,” Mr Pickering said.

“And the odds are that because you spend the majority of your time with family, friends and loved ones, it will be someone close to you.”

So Mr Pickering urged everyone to do first aid training. He has no doubt it helps save lives.

“We see it every day. People can ring the ambos and we’ll stay on the phone and help you in an emergency,” he said.

“But people who already know what to do can absolutely save lives.

“People who can perform CPR, help with blood loss or airway control, make a huge difference.

“If a person is left untreated, especially in cardiac arrest, unfortunately it’s too late, a lot of the time, on our arrival.”

It is a small price to pay to update your first aid knowledge, or undergo the training for the first time, Mr Pickering said.

“First aid courses are readily available and don’t take a lot of time to complete in the scheme of things,” he said.

“Calling an ambulance is great, but knowing what to do is an even bigger asset.”

Australian Red Cross are right behind the move to encourage people to update their first aid knowledge, especially leading into summer.

“Outdoor activities, hot weather and increased time in, or near water all contribute to higher accident rates over the summer period,” Red Cross College training services manager Chris Casey said.

“We encourage everyone to refresh their skills, with summer on its way, you’ll never know when you might need them.”

luke.schuyler@fairfaxmedia.com.au

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