Today, World First Aid Day (WFAD) is being observed all over the world including Pakistan. This day is observed on second Saturday of September every year across the globe. First time in the history, this day was introduced in 2000 by the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent (IFRC). This day is celebrated to raise awareness among public about the importance and how First Aid can save lives in everyday-life especially in any crisis situations. A rich tribute is also paid to the first aiders who are major instrumental in saving precious human lives by providing timely medical aid. On that day, people are informed about the importance and advantages of first aid as well as they encouraged to get the first aid training and learn its lifesaving skills to save human life. The theme of World First Aid Day 2021 is “First aid and road safety”. Its main aim is to spread awareness of how first aid can prevent injuries and save lives every day and in a crisis situation.
First Aid is an immediate treatment or medical assistance which is given to an injured or sick person with available resources before arrival of paramedical staff or medical professionals. Wherever you are in the world, if you have got first aid training, you can save someone’s life, so first aid training is an essential for all of us to learn its training and skills. It’s not only a skill but also an act of humanity. Provision without any discrimination, which helps to empower the people of any society that can take care of their own survival and well-being. It has been ascertained in daily life that most of the people succumbed to their injuries in fatal traffic crashes due to non-availability of first aid? On the other end, traffic crashes around the world are a major cause of death of millions people or disability. The lives many people can be saved by providing timely first aid. If someone is injured or suddenly falls ill at work place, that there is no grater act of human kindness, than providing timely medical assistance support.
If we turn the pages of history, we find that many organizations or agencies were doing their due role before establishment of the Punjab Emergency Service Department (Rescue 1122), but there was no organized body and trained emergency paramedics available at the time of emergency. The citizens were abnegated from their basic right to timely emergency care in case of any emergency. In result of road traffic crashes the most of the people disabled for life due to lake of proper medical care or delays on spot which increased risks their lives.
For establishing integrated pre-hospital emergency management system first time in Pakistan, all credit goes to Dr Rizwan Naseer (SI), DG Punjab Emergency Service Department, who provided professional training to the paramedic staff in accordance with international standard at the Emergency Services Academy. The Rescue Service provided timely medical assistance to the victims of emergency so that any possible risks to the life of emergency victims may be minimized by providing timely medical assistance. Since its inception, Rescue 1122 has provided first aid to over 9.7 million victims of emergency while responding to the emergencies with an average response time of seven minutes.
The training of individuals is a backbone of any organization to make it strong, durable and bring it to the forefront. If we take a look at the list of companies that have made a name for themselves in the world, it turns out that the secret of their achievements lies in their excellent training. Similarly, the Emergency Services Academy was established to set a high standard of training, which is considered to be the best model for providing emergency training in the South Asia. The paramedics from Punjab and other provinces are trained in Emergency Services Academy in collaboration with National Ambulance Service College for Ireland as per the international standards. A third party evaluation is carried out during training to ensure the standards. At this stage of training, all rescuers from an officer to a driver are provided with first aid training at the same standard, so that, all rescuers can provide first aid to the victims in case of any major disaster, accident or tragedy to save human lives.
After establishing the Rescue Service in Punjab and its reapplication in other provinces, the ultimate vision of Rescue 1122 is prevention of emergencies through proactive community participation in saving lives and changing minds of the society. In this regard, to promote the trend of first aid in the country, PESD has introduced the Rescue Cadet Corps (RCC) app to provide medical aid training to students of schools, colleges and universities in accordance with the Service Act. In case of any emergency, the people of the community can play their active role in saving human life at the regional level. The process of online registration is underway and at the same time online training courses and lectures have also been provided, so that any person across the country can get free of cast first aid training at home. You can also get free first aid training at the nearest rescue station. In this regard, the Government of Punjab has approved PC-1 and Community Emergency Response Teams are being formed at the level of Union Council in all the districts of Punjab.
Now, Rescue 1122 has commenced to train 10 million the citizens as LifeSavers of Pakistan in the skill of quality Cardio Pulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) hemorrhage control through Pakistan Live Saver Programme (PSLP) in collaboration with Aga Khan University. The main objective of this programme is to develop a nation of empowered citizens and youth with the skills to save lives. The training to perform CPR and bleeding control is being imparted to the citizens. It will improve survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and traumatic bleeding control by ensuring early life saving interventions. The death toll due to cardiac arrest and severe blooding has become a global issue worldwide. According to a study, if timely treatment CPR is not performed in case of cardiac arrest, every one minute after cardiac arrest, without CPR, chances of survival decreased by 10%. Similarly, those with severe bleeding can lose their lives if steps are not taken to stop the bleeding. In the same way, providing immediate assistance to the cardiac arrest can increase of survival up to 30%. We can save millions of lives of patients suffering from cardiac arrest and traumatic injuries by providing immediate first aid. Let’s pledge today on the occasion of this day, we will must get first aid training because first aid is the only thing that can save someone’s life.
The writer is PR Practitioner at Punjab Emergency Service Department Pakistan (Rescue 1122), Headquarters Lahore. He can be reached at Twitter @KaramatAli1985.