Community Access to First Aid
When Farhad had excruciating abdominal pain his parents did not know what to do –
- Is this an emergency?
- Who can help us?
- How can we get help when we don’t speak English?
- What should we do to help him?
Recent studies show that 50% of the lower mainland population speaks a second language other than English at home.
In addition, newcomers to Canada are more vulnerable to accidents and injury than the more established populations because the hazards they encounter here are not the same as those in their country of origin.
They may also be caring for the very young or the very old and need these skills to cope in an emergency
Language barriers make it more difficult to access information, and in the case of accessing emergency services newcomers often do not know, or are not comfortable with using the 911 service
Education and training have been proven to reduce injuries and save lives by as much as 90%, but access to First Aid training in languages other than English has been minimal.
In 2009, over 140 SmartStart: Community Access to First Aid workshops were delivered in one of 18 languages to over 3,800 participants.
SmartStart Volunteer Makes a Difference in Costa Rica
Liz Moss, a Canadian Red Cross First Aid Instructor since 2006 who speaks fluently Spanish, recently took her skills to Costa Rica as part of a project to assist residents of San Gerardo de Rivas, a remote mountain community of 350 people in the south centre of the country. Full Story