Lessons in first-aid during emergency situations could well become a part of the school curriculum for students in the near future in Hyderabad and elsewhere. The St. John’s Ambulance Association (SJAA), which has pioneered the concept of teaching first-aid skills to the general public in Hyderabad, has put forward this concept to the Education Department.

The rise in road accidents, heart ailments, strokes, fire accidents, drowning and other emergencies and lack of proper first-aid to critical patients before they reach hospitals in Hyderabad has made authorities seriously consider this possibility. A basic course on first-aid is likely to be introduced for school students.

“Basic working knowledge of first-aid techniques is very important to save lives in our country. Precious lives can be saved if right first-aid is given. All the top officials from the department of school and college education are ex-officio members of our association and they have reacted positively to the proposals,” says State secretary, SJAA, Dr. V. G. Bodhankar.

Often, critically ill patients are brought to the hospital in a very bad shape. A simple step like giving Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) to preserve brain function among road accident victims or applying simple bandages to stop bleeding goes a long way in saving lives.

“Public are clueless and have no idea what to do when they see a road accident victim. They simply wait for the 108 ambulance or offer some water to the victim. In cases where victims are bleeding, bystanders are helpless. But, there are lot of things that the public can do to help and such skills should be taught from a young age,” feels Superintendent, SJAA, D. Gouri Devi.

SJAA members felt that every private organisation should take the lead and make arrangements to impart need-based first-aid skills to their employees. “Every citizen should have a basic working knowledge of first-aid. There are numerous cases where our training has saved lives in the nick of time. Organisations, NGOs and institutions should realise that,” Dr. Bodhankar felt.

The SJAA is already playing an important role in holding first-aide teaching classes to public. On an average, every year, close to 20,000 persons undergo training from SJAA. Top software companies, police academies, factor employees, IPS probationary officers, nurses, air-hostess, scouts and guides technical persons from the State Electricity Department have already undergone training from SJAA.

In fact, several countries in Europe insist that nurses, air-hostesses and persons working in high-risk environment should have a St. John’s Ambulance Association certified CPR training programme. SJAA can be reached at: 040-6576-9949 or www.stjohnsasson.org

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