‘Equip employees with first aid skills to help mitigate casualties’

Heads of private and public businesses and institutions have been advised to equip their employees with the needed first aid skills to help mitigate the casualties recorded during disasters.

According to the chairman of the St John Ambulance Service, Prof. Agyeman Badu Akosa, disasters were inevitable and that there was the urgency for businesses to train their employees as most of them struggled to assist during such cases due to the lack of first aid skills.

Prof. Akosa gave the advice during the 85th anniversary launch of the St John Ambulance Service in Accra yesterday on the theme “First Aid Saves Lives: Learn First Aid Skill.”

Some of the activities lined up to commemorate the anniversary include the training of fisher folks in first aid, blood donations and offering of free CPR education to the general public.

At the launch, Prof. Akosa noted that his outfit had written letters to various heads of private and government institutions such as the governor of the Central Bank, and the commissioner of the Insurance Commission to train their employees on first aid as required under the Public Health Bill.

Citing past disasters such as the May 9 Accra Sports Stadium disaster, June 3 disaster, and most recently the Appiatse disaster, Prof. Akosa bemoaned the attitude of Ghanaians in the event of disaster outbreak as citizens were often seen taking pictures rather than providing the needed first aid.

In addition, he appealed to the Ministry of Health (MoH), its partner agency, to also ensure that Ghanaians were adequately trained in the delivery of first aid to minimise the casualties recorded during disasters.

In furtherance, he said St John Ambulance service would continue to champion the need for every citizen to be equipped with the skills of first aid.

The Technical Coordinator at the Ministry of Health (MoH), Dr Martha Gyansa Lutterrodt, indicated that the MoH recognised the critical role St John Ambulance Service played as an Emergency Medical Service (EMS) provider in the country.

Dr Lutterrodt entreated the organisation to be proactive in its operations, adding that her outfit would continue to partner and support St John Ambulance Service by providing them with the needed resource to enable them work effectively and efficiently.

The chief executive officer of the organisation, Dr Kwame Apedzi, in his welcome address, lauded the workers for the contributions they had made to propel the organisation to greater heights through their hard work.

He explained that the contributions made by St John Ambulance Service to the health sector could not be underestimated as it had trained many health and safety officers across various sectors of the country, including the mining, aviation and sports sectors.

BY ANITA ANKRAH AND BENJAMIN ARCTON-TETTEY

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