Teaching teenagers to handle the First Aid / Columns / The Foreigner

Teaching teenagers to handle the First Aid. A previous column described community disaster teams. Who is best to lead those teams? Kids. Many initiatives already exist on youth, disasters, and action. Schools teach about hazards and social vulnerability; emergency management agencies create websites and games for children; and development and social officers talk to kids about their fears.  We can add to that.

firstaid, health



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Teaching teenagers to handle the First Aid

Published on Sunday, 13th October, 2013 at 08:15 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

A previous column described community disaster teams. Who is best to lead those teams? Kids.

Fake injuries for first aid training in Colorado
Fake injuries for first aid training in Colorado
Photo: Courtesy of Haley Rich


Many initiatives already exist on youth, disasters, and action. Schools teach about hazards and social vulnerability; emergency management agencies create websites and games for children; and development and social officers talk to kids about their fears. 

We can add to that.

A programme was started in Pueblo, Colorado, USA to educate secondary school students about emergency management. Based on the USA's CERTs (Community Emergency Response Training)--which has now been emulated around the world--Teen SERT (School Emergency Response Training) teaches teens how to respond to emergencies, focusing on first aid for multiple casualty scenarios.

The programme was started by a community activist and volunteer, Haley Rich, who sadly passed away suddenly on 18 February 2010. Her legacy lives on.

Teen SERT's curriculum focuses on first aid. Assess and control the situation, don't put yourself or others in danger, assist the injured, and call for emergency help.

Then, deal with the aftermath. Clean up, appropriately dispose of anything with blood, and ensure that those involved, the casualties and the rescuers, can talk with someone caring.

The school runs a multiple-casualty scenario to finish the course. Adults are there to watch, write notes, film, and photograph. They do not otherwise intervene.

The teenagers are the casualties, the responders, the incident command, and the emergency managers. Debriefing sessions afterwards are held with the adults to share emotions and experiences.

The teens revealed that they learned and used leadership skills, felt their own empowerment for handling difficult situations, and gained understanding of their community and how they could contribute. That includes picking up litter and supporting elderly residents.

Additionally, more than one life per year in Pueblo has been saved by teenagers applying the first aid skills that they learned in Teen SERT.

Youth will lead us in the future. We should train them to learn and teach about making good decisions and helping people while under pressure.

All countries could implement Teen SERT.

Dr. Ilan Kelman is aSenior Research Fellowat the Center for International Climate and Environmental Research - Oslo (CICERO).



Published on Sunday, 13th October, 2013 at 08:15 under the columns category, by Ilan Kelman.

This post has the following tags: firstaid, health.





  
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