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Would you know what to do? September 10th is World First Aid Day

By: Don Marentette, Manager, National First Aid Programs

As a former paramedic, I understand the importance of first aid training. Emergency services will respond, but what you do in the time between making that call and the arrival of the ambulance can make all the difference.

When I was a new paramedic in Edmonton, I got a call to respond to a baby who was not breathing. When I arrived, a woman handed me a limp, blue baby. There was no time to think, but my training forced me into action. I opened the airway, began compressions and CPR. After a few moments, the baby started crying and began breathing on its own. A scary experience for any parent, but one that happens all the time. First aid skills would have enabled this new mother to help her baby.

I also responded to emergencies while off duty. While driving along the highway, I witnessed a serious collision between a motorcycle and an SUV. I immediately stopped to offer assistance, assessed the scene and tended to the most serious injuries first while waiting for the ambulance. The driver of the motorcycle had been thrown from his bike, lost his helmet and was unconscious. I opened the airway, removed the obstruction and helped him breathe on his own.

It could happen to anyone. How helpless would you feel if you didn’t know what to do?

September 10 is World First Aid Day – an annual international event to highlight the importance of first aid skills in preventing injury and saving lives. Enter our online contest for your chance to win prizes.

First aid training gives you the skills you hope you never have to use, but will be grateful for if ever you find yourself in an emergency situation. Tell us, have you ever had to use your first aid skills?

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