Major Activity Today
THE St. Lucia Red Cross is embarking on a campaign to promote the importance of First Aid by targeting a group that is often overlooked — children.
In recognition of World First Aid Day today, the Red Cross is opening the doors of its headquarters in Vigie to host the event dubbed “First Aid for and by children”.
President of the St. Lucia Red Cross, Hubert Pierre, told The VOICE that the organization is part of the International Federation of Red Cross and will play an integral part into whatever is done by the Federation.
The Federation in 2014 trained 15 million people in 116 countries; that number has now increased as they are now 190 countries strong.
Pierre said the Red Cross believes that most people should be trained in First Aid.
“I think it is important that we start at the early age,” he said. “Most times we just talk about First Aid as a blanket statement. We have practicals and it’s usually grownups walking in, as though children are not important in that sense. But we have decided to change that and ensure that our focus is on children and their usefulness: how they can reach out and do something First Aid.”
Pierre said the St. Lucia Red Cross has always trained children in a programme called “Be an Ace” where they teach children safety tips and skills. He said a lot more should be done when it comes to training children.
“We want to have what we call an open day whereby we are going to introduce kids to First Aid. We will be here and the children will come over and we’ll have demonstrations with them. We’ll show them practical tips that they can do if alone, if mother is not there, somebody has collapsed. Just to give them the introduction into what it’s all about.”
Pierre continued: “Children can play a crucial role, especially during emergencies by providing First Aid assistance to their peers as well as their families and people around them. We also believe that training children in First Aid is a crucial investment for now and the future.”
Pierre said the organization believes that First Aid is a humanitarian action that should be accessible to everybody. He said the government tasked the Red Cross with training 10 percent of the population; however, they have so far run into difficulty doing so for numerous reasons. Nevertheless, he declared that the government itself needs to step up.
“I strongly believe that the government should promote quality and compulsory training as well as ensuring that laws and legislation are established to make First Aid training and education compulsory at different levels of life. We strongly believe that at the Red Cross,” Pierre said.
Pierre said the Red Cross is going to push harder than ever to see this done, even if it means approaching government to push for such laws and legislation.
Today’s event is aimed at children aged three-15 years old and will run from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.