WENTWORTH – Alfred King, a St. John Ambulance instructor, led a first aid program located at the Wentworth Learning Centre.
Staff at the learning centre registered 16 people ranging from late teens/early twenties in age up to 65+ in age.
Staff at the centre gave me this report on their system of registration for this course:
“This is the fourth First Aid and CPR course presented by St. John Ambulance at the learning centre. There are two more classes scheduled for April due to peoples' demand.
“We keep an on-going list at all times of people who require specific classes/programs (such as First Aid, Defensive Driving, etc.), and when we get enough to meet the minimum, we hold the course. “People may need first aid training for their jobs, or because they volunteer for a non-profit organization where they may encounter an emergency situation or for a refresher course or simply out of interest.
“The theme which runs through first aid is about saving lives at work, home and play. Love and sympathy for others in distress is one o the best virtues of first aid.”
King has taught St. John Ambulance First Aid for 20 years in Nova Scotia and P.E.I. He had a job in the Department of National Defence for 43 years, and had work as a first aid officer for cadets for 16 years at Greenwood Air Base.
He is now chair for Cumberland Crime Stoppers, teaches a firearm course in Cumberland/Colchester and Hunter Education, and still works with Cadets in Amherst. He now lives in Oxford. With such a background and friendly personality, King is an expert in teaching First Aid.
Topics covered by instructor King during a session from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. were excellent in depth and amount of coverage and a summary follows.
Introduction to First Aid: a First Aider takes charge of an emergency scene and gives first aid. Emergency scene management (ESM): scene survey, primary survey, secondary survey, ongoing causality care of shock and fainting. Multiple causality management: breathing and airway emergencies, asthma, severe allergic reaction, choking.
Cardiovascular disease and chain of survival: angina and heart attack, stroke and TIA (transient ischemic attack), cardiac arrest, Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), automated external defibrillation (AED), wounds and bleeding (dressings, bandages and slings), diabetes, seizures, convulsions.
After speaking about these issues, King took the class to the former school gymnasium, had us lay on mats and do CPR three times: one for adults, one for children, and one for an infant. Then, King had us perform AED by opening a package with AED, open and turn on the AED and follow voice prompts. To actually do CPR and AED, I found I needed considerable help to follow the instructions. It was a fascinating life experience.
Then, King took us back to the lecture room to finish CPR with cute dolls to be used as people. This first aid course required strict attention and concentration. It was not easy, although rewarding and challenging. The course made me admire even more first aid workers experiencing the reality of actual emergencies.