Participants learned and practiced CPR. (Photo by the Department of Youth Empowerment)

BASSETERRE, St. Kitts — Twenty-three people from several communities received free first aid and CPR workshops at Red Cross Headquarters on Nov. 3 to enable them to render assistance if there is a medical emergency.

As an activity on the calendar of events for Youth Month 2018, training was organised by the Department of Youth Empowerment. The workshop was attended by members of youth-related groups and organizations, as well as youth serving agencies.

The session was facilitated by Natalie Fough, Director General of the St. Kitts and Nevis Red Cross. She was supported by three Red Cross trainers and commended the enthusiasm of the trainees to brave the Saturday’s inclement weather to ensure that they could attend the interactive class.

Registered nurse and midwife, Keisha Bloice, participated in the session and said it was extremely beneficial.

“It was very informative and I learned so much,” she stated. “Even though I have been a nurse for 16 years, the world outside of the hospital setting is so different,” Bloice explained. “We were taught things today that would really help in getting things done on the roadside or in a situation at home, where you won’t have all the necessary supplies to work with.”

Each participant engaged in practical exercises that featured how to perform CPR, make a triangular bandage and relieve choking (Heimlich manoeuvre). They learned how to treat open fractures, cuts, bruises and burns. Theoretical sessions covered a wide variety of issues including symptoms of a stroke, heart attack, seizures and a diabetes attack.

Shakquan Hodge, a national athlete and coach at the Department of Sports, said the first aid and CPR training was especially useful. He interacts regularly with student-athletes in volleyball, table tennis, track and field. This new-found knowledge will allow him to assist the trainer if there is a medical emergency. Hodge found the information on proper care for the body expanded his knowledge on proper nutrition, which is vital for athletes.

Shirmel Edwards, Youth Director of the Way, Truth and Life Assembly Youth Group, commended the Department of Youth Empowerment for organizing the workshop.

“I am very grateful; I thought it was quite innovative to show the partnership link between the department and the Red Cross. I welcome and embrace such an initiative,” she said, promising to share the knowledge she learned with members of her group.