SOIL Staff Get CPR and First Aid Training

On a sunny Friday earlier this month, all staff members came to the SOIL office up here in Cap Haitien for a little CPR and First Aid training. Because we have so many staff members working in potentially dangerous situations (and really, anything can happen anytime!), it was decided that it would be a good idea for everyone to have the basic knowledge of how to take care of a wound, and what to do if someone goes into cardiac arrest.

I myself am not a certified instructor to teach, thus this was by no means a certified course, but after many years of First Aid/CPR training and now with a Wilderness First Responder (WFR) course recently taken, I felt well-equipped to teach the basics. With the help of some other staff members who had some medical background, we were successfully able to convey and practice (makes perfect) the information in Creole.

It was a fascinating day for me, as I also learned some “rural ways” to treat wounds. Put a tomato on a cut? Hmmm….not sure about that one. Pour coconut water on for wound cleaning? Not a bad idea! Especially if there isn’t any other clean water around. One of the principles I have is to use the resources around you, and when you’re here in Haiti and there really aren’t many medical resources, it’s important to learn alternative ways for patient care.

Lifting heavy drums, driving, harvesting vegetables, and working on construction projects are all a few possible scenarios where things can go wrong. It’s important to feel confident in being able to respond to the situation, even if it means just taking someone to the hospital. We’re now working on getting First Aid Kits to all of our work sites, the office, and the car so we’ll have access to basic supplies if anything does happen. Always be prepared!

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