The British Red Cross is teaching people in the Rochdale borough basic first aid skills using a special grant targeting at risk groups including drug and alcohol users. Greater knowledge of basic first aid and actions on what to do in the event of a medical emergency helps to save lives and limit harm as well as relieve pressure on health services.
The grant from Heywood, Middleton and Rochdale Clinical Commissioning Group (HMR CCG) is allowing qualified Red Cross trainers to teach hands-on first aid skills at sessions in the heart of the community including the Drake Street base of drugs charity High Level Northern Trust.
The types of scenarios covered in the sessions are what to do if someone is unresponsive and breathing or not breathing, if someone has taken a harmful substance, if someone is having a seizure, if someone has suffered a burn, a head injury or is bleeding heavily, before or after ringing 999. Trainers also work with participants on breaking down the barriers to helping others, and building their confidence and willingness to help others in an emergency.
Judith Jones is the qualified Red Cross trainer who has been leading the Rochdale sessions, she said;
“These sessions don’t just cover basic first aid training; they’re based on real life emergency situations that people may find themselves in and we teach them how to respond. My sessions have been well received and it’s a rewarding feeling to impart skills and knowledge to people that one day may lead to saving a life. It’s important that we recognise that certain vulnerable groups like drug and alcohol users are more likely to encounter life threatening situations. By knowing the basic do’s and don’ts we are empowering people to have the confidence to help.”
Dafydd Beech is the Red Cross Education Manager in North Wales and the North West of England. He said;
“The Red Cross believes that first aid education is underused as a public health tool, and that it can contribute to the health and social care agenda in two key ways, by reducing demand at critical points in the system and by increasing resilience of individuals and communities. We are delighted that the grant we have received is enabling us to show at risk groups what to do if they or one of their friends or family are involved in a medical emergency. This training can save lives and limit harm.”
Would your group, volunteers or community have the skills to cope in a crisis? The British Red Cross works with organisations and community groups who support people who are at risk and would have the greatest impact from a first aid intervention, including people living with issues around drug and alcohol use. The tailored first aid sessions provide people with the skills and confidence to help in a first aid emergency. For more information on what is available contact the Crisis Education Support Centre on 0344 412 2734 or email firstname.lastname@example.org