This past weekend, Fred, a representative from the Red Cross, taught first aid and CPR at our site in Kenya. He arrived early the next morning along with the house mothers, security guards, and several teachers from the school. Tea and coffee were served and notebooks were gathered for the detailed note taking that would soon ensue. Fred utilized the Red Cross PowerPoint presentation, taking time in between each slide to review and discuss the information with all of us. He was thorough and thoughtful. Although Fred covered some first aid protocols, including how to assess a situation and guarantee the safety of a scene, most of our time was spent on CPR.
Fred began the CPR training with a ten-minute video, actors included! He then proceeded to simplify the instructions. He taught us to count “one and two and three…” up until thirty, raising our hands on the word “and” and compressing on the sternum on each number. He demonstrated proper form and explained the circumstances in which you would first give two rescue breaths followed by compressions and vice versa. After miming the actions of CPR in the air, Fred unwrapped some dummies and the room erupted with laughter. The first volunteer was Auntie Grace, our health matron, who I have come to know and love for her sassy personality. She practiced CPR on an adult dummy, while Mom, another matron at FK, demonstrated on the infant. The fellow classmates giggled continuously throughout the volunteer trials, but each was able to try and succeed. From the bright smiles and happiness plastered all over their faces, it was easy to see that the children enjoyed learning how to save a life.
Unwilling to part with the dummies, we asked Fred to go over the proper procedure for choking before packing up. Teacher Robert served as the unlucky volunteer, getting slapped pretty hard five times in the back before being thrust into the air for abdominal compressions. Again, this made the room laugh like crazy, each person thankful they were NOT the one to raise their hands. After Teacher Robert was sufficiently freed of invisible choking matter, the others were able to utilize the dummies once more. Mom was meant to practice the proper emergency choking procedure on the infant, but instead cradled the baby like it was one of her own.
It was such a joy to see the team enjoy this training day. The children thanked Fred for the opportunity to “save a life”. It was a productive, exciting and all around amazing day at the house and I was so grateful to be a part of it.