Red Cross target - a first aider in every home

A first-aid kitbox.
A first-aid kitbox.PHOTO: ST FILE

I would like to thank Ms Lam Yin Yin for attending our first aid and cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) training, and for highlighting the importance of learning to use the automated external defibrillator (AED).

As Ms Lam rightly points out, Singapore's survival rates for cardiac arrests are low compared with the rates in developed countries.

Annually, more than 2,500 Singaporeans suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital and only 5 per cent survive.

Without intervention, the chances of survival drop by 7 per cent to 10 per cent every minute. Every second matters.

First aid training is key to empowering the community to respond to emergencies, which often makes the difference between life and death.

To this end, the Singapore Red Cross fervently advocates the national goal of "one first aider in every home".

To nurture young lifesavers and prepare schoolchildren to be one step ahead during emergencies, we run a first aid outreach programme for primary schoolchildren and it has reached over 50,000 pupils since its launch in 2015.

This year, we are offering complimentary CPR and AED awareness workshops to Singaporeans and permanent residents.

Our academy also offers specialised first aid training for caregivers of infants, children and the elderly.

We also believe that psychological first aid is an important second line of defence.

In any crisis situation, besides handling physical wounds, a major challenge is managing fears and psychological wounds.

That is what psychological first aid aims to address - the psycho-social skills learnt empower people to care for and better understand one another.

By being equipped with both physical and psychological first aid skills, we can be a resilient community to overcome adversities that may come our way.

Benjamin William

Secretary-General and CEO

Singapore Red Cross

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 22, 2019, with the headline 'Red Cross target - a first aider in every home'. Print Edition | Subscribe