Welland Tribune September 20th 2011 Page 4:
Be Prepared for Emergencies!
Wont be available on the website for a bit, I notice letters to the editor appear to be 10 days delayed on the website atmI have been featured twice in your paper in the last month for saving the life of a fellow who had a really nasty ATV accident. A lot of good has come out of this incident, and I would like to help raise awareness about the need to be prepared.
Accidents happen all the time. By definition they are unpredictable, and often messy. Being prepared in an emergency could mean the difference between life and death, not just for a stranger, but for our friends and loved ones as well.
My experience on August 16th (2011) taught me that I was not as prepared as I thought I was. I pride myself on being well trained and well prepared. I am a former volunteer fire fighter, a member of an online community dedicated to emergency preparedness (Zombiesquad), but I had nothing for first aid in my tackle box, and no cellphone ( I now have both). In retrospect I was lucky. Myself or my son could have become injured, and then what? Luckily I was able to improvise and save a life.
We can all do our part and become a community of lifesavers by simply being prepared. First aid training is very cheap. In many cases it can be provided for free. But the value is astronomical in terms of human life and limb. Everyone should take at least the basics. St. John Ambulance provided all the training for my VFD, including extensive modules on trauma, shock, childbirth etc. I am so glad I took advantage of the opportunity.
Secondly, everyone should carry, or have readily available, a first aid kit. Make sure to include personal protective equipment (non-latex sterile gloves and a mask at the very least). There are many first aid kits available at ridiculously low prices. Make sure they include a tourniquet, primary and secondary dressings, non-alcoholic antiseptic liquid, hand sanitizer, tweezers, scissors, triangle bandages, CPR mask and medicated ointment. There are other more advanced items of equipment that would be nice, but these will do for the average every day kit.
Finally, keeping up to date, retraining, joining an organization dedicated to emergency and/or disaster preparedness. Zombiesquad (a registered non-profit group dedicated to disaster and emergency preparedness) recently opened a Canadian chapter, No3, here in Niagara. There are forums, literature, events, fundraisers, and education provided. These actions could save a life, it could even be your own.