17 October 2018 My long overdue first aid training

The last first aid training and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) training I had taken was years back when I was still serving National Service. Many years had passed since then and all my first aid skills and CPR skills have deserted me. I finally took up Standard First Aid training with CPR and AED training to refresh my skills. As I mentioned in my previous blog post, getting First Aid training is a key step to being prepared for any mishaps or incidents that might occur in Singapore. It is a collective effort on our parts to be prepared and render assistance to our fellow Singaporeans and residents of Singapore.

So I signed up for a Standard First Aid with CPR and Automatic External Defibrillator (AED) training to get myself trained. Like I mentioned before, there are many institutes that offer such training which are certified and are Skillsfuture credits claimable. There is absolutely no excuse for not getting yourself trained. Force 21’s training partner SERA offers first aid training, do feel free to look them up to get trained. The training is a two day theory and practical course with the third day being a theory test and a practical test.

The training itself

The training itself consists of several modules on the primary role of a first aider, the priority of care and how to render first aid to the different injuries. The modules provide a good framework on what a first aider should do and how a first aider can render assistance. What I like about the practical training is that the instructors are people with actual experience and they maintain their standards when examining our dressings, slings and bandages. After the training session, I practised my new found skills on my family to make sure I am doing them right. I had some CPR training when I was serving my National Service, but CPR that is being taught these days are simplified to exclude the rescue blows or mouth to mouth resuscitation. The rationale is to avoid any potential neck or spine injuries that might occur when the first aider tilts the head back. CPR is very hands on subject and requires practice. It is not easy to perform CPR and for durations that maybe needed (8 to 12 minutes). I did 1 minute of CPR on a dummy and could feel fatigue setting in my upper body. I would think that in an actual situation, the more CPR providers the better as it would allow the providers to rotate and continue to perform the much needed CPR until the paramedics arrive on scene. I was never trained on AED and it was a much needed training. Operating an AED is easy as it was designed to be used under stressful conditions and AEDs usually come with automatic voice instructions. However, there are precautions to be noted and being trained on the equipment also gives confidence to the AED provider especially when the provider is not using the AED for the first time.

Final Thoughts

This course was a long overdue course that I should have taken a long time ago. I am required to take refreshers every 2 years which is what I intend to do. Following my training, I encountered a middle aged man who walked into a cafeteria with a hand that seemed to be burnt. He was in a stable and calm condition. I then found out that he was burnt by some chemicals or air conditioning chemicals. The wound was dry and had some cream applied on. If it was otherwise, I would have gotten him to wash the wound with water and gotten him checked into a clinic. As he is, he was making transport arrangements to get to a clinic to get checked out. After the whole episode, I realised that first aid training is useful even in everyday situations.

Ethan Foo, Manager
Defence Systems