Red Cross encourages first aid training

| 02/10/2013

(CNS): The Cayman Islands Red Cross is encouraging individuals, private companies and government departments to undertake First Aid training. Deputy Governor Franz Manderson, led by example recently when he attended the six-hour long first aid training course offered by the local branch along with nine others  from government offices stressing the importance of this type of training especially in hurricane season. Having taken on a new trainer this year the charity is keen to build first aid knowledge among as many people as possible as it says the more people who acquire the skills the better for the wider community.

“I was very impressed by the effectiveness of the first aid training session,” Manderson said.  The session was interactive, informative and inclusive of all participants.  All activities were geared towards a wide audience and did not limit participants based on their skill set.

“We left the session with a feeling of empowerment, and a feeling of confidence that we were now equipped with techniques and knowledge that could ultimately help save a life.   Although I hope to never encounter such a scenario, I am proud to say that I possess the skills necessary to act in the event of a disaster or emergency.”

First aid is not a skill that is confined to one’s workplace or job responsibilities. It is something which the first aider takes with him or her wherever s/he may be: at home, at the beach, and even on vacation. To have as many first aiders as possible trained in the community is to build capacity within the home, the community and the nation.
It is for that reason that as of April 2013 the CIRC hired and trained an additional First Aid Instructor: Ricky “RikRok” Ducent.

“Too often in Cayman we come to ‘hoard’ or rely solely on particular individuals as keepers of skills or knowledge,” explains Deputy Director Carolina Ferreira. “That is the exact opposite of building capacity because if anything happens to that person, that knowledge or skill is lost. It is in our best interest, as a nation, to train and equip as many people as possible with as many skills and as much knowledge as they are interested in acquiring and able to handle.

“It is equally important to ensure that the quality of that training is of the highest caliber and that people know what they’ll get with their training. That’s why we are so happy to have Ricky on board and to be able to expand the reach of this programme,” she adds.

With the hiring of Ducent the CI Red Cross has essentially doubled the training capacity of the First Aid Programme and the response so far has been phenomenal. Once the new administration office is ready, the additional training room will mean that two full public trainings can be run simultaneously.

Ducent has already started breaking the perceived “intimidation” of first aid training by developing and delivering a 45 minute mini first aid training to schools, other medium to large sized organizations and staff development programs. While not a full first aid training, this mini presentation serves to give people an idea of what the full training entails and gives them at least one simple thing that they can do to assist someone in specific types of distress.

“Often times we go presentations, see the power point up on the screen and right off the bat we know it’ll be painful and we check out instantly,” explained Ducent. “How often do you see people doing their best to look ‘official’ when looking down at their smart phones but in reality they are trying to beat their Despicable Me or Angry Birds score? We’ve all done it, and we all think no one noticed, but they did.

“The mini presentation has been done in such a way that it is interactive, fun, education and most of all engaging. It’s been enthusiastically received so far because of the fact that people leave with a specific bit of knowledge that they can use and they haven’t had to suffer through the usual "not so glamorous" tone of these types of trainings. It’s a win-win,” he added.

The Cayman Islands Red Cross offers public and private first aid trainings for individuals, community organisations, businesses and other such groups. A full schedule of public training can be found at the CIRC website or by contacting 949-6785 ext 29 or 30 or emailing: or

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