A first aider in every home

Step up to help: A community equipped with CPR and first aid skills can be pivotal in emergencies before medical help arrives.

PETALING JAYA: Every minute without emergency intervention decreases the survival chances of a pulseless victim if actions such as cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) are not initiated with urgency.Simply observing does not save lives; instead, a community equipped with CPR and first aid skills can be pivotal in emergencies before medical help arrives.

With this in mind, the Subang Jaya SS15 Rukun Tetangga (SS15 RT) community has taken it upon itself to create awareness of the critical need for the public to respond effectively to medical emergencies.

In collaboration with the Selangor St John Ambulance of Malaysia (SJAM), their initiative “Learn a skill, Save a life” aims to train at least one resident per household in CPR and the use of automated external defibrillators (AED).

Project coordinator Eric Chew said when more individuals are trained and prepared to respond to emergencies, the overall safety of a community is significantly enhanced.

“Such skills in CPR and the AED use are useful, especially with the rising number of heart attacks. Every minute matters in keeping the heart of a victim pumping before the arrival of an ambulance or medical aid.

“A delay in responding to such critical situations can have serious or even fatal consequences. Armed with these first aid skills, lives can be saved – be it a cardio- related event, falls or road accidents,” he said in an interview.

Chew said such programmes also enhance neighbourliness and bring the communities closer to each other.

The initiative, launched on June 15, saw participation from over 50 people from the community and surrounding neighbourhoods.

Chew said a dozen members of the state SJAM used eight special mannequins to simulate emergency situations and teach CPR techniques.

SS15 RT deputy chairman Michael Sundram praised the hands-on training as accessible and hopes it will inspire nationwide adoption to empower more communities with life-saving skills.

Chew said following the launch, leaders of several other residential areas in Subang Jaya and USJ have also shown keen interest and have requested for the programme to be carried out in their communities.

“We have an ambitious mission, which is to have at least one first aider in every household. We plan to expand the project throughout the Klang Valley and we hope the government will help us to extend it nationwide.

“Saving lives is a precious skill everyone should possess. There should also be more AEDs placed in strategic locations, and we hope corporations will come forward and donate these devices which can save lives,” he said.

An AED is a medical device that analyses the heart rhythm and delivers an electric shock to those suffering a sudden cardiac arrest, restoring a normal heartbeat to keep them alive.

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