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The man with the blanket

In this last month I’ve given first aid three times – to a friend with a head injury that required seven stitches, to a woman who fell off the treadmill and hit her head at my gym and a dog who was hit by a car near Coquitlam Town Centre park. In all three situations other people rushed in to help and it was a good reminder about how important teamwork is in an emergency situation. If you’re involved in an emergency situation, look around you. Is there anyone that can help? Don’t be shy about asking. Most people want to help but often they’re not sure what to do.It’s great if you have first aid training but even if you don’t, here are some things you can do:

  • Call 911 and ask for an ambulance. Don’t hang up until they tell you to.
  • Get someone to meet the first responders and guide them to the injured person.
  • Comfort and reassure the injured person – treat them as you’d like someone to treat you.
  • Find a first aid kit and bring it to the scene.
  • If the person is cold and shivery, cover them with a blanket or jacket.
  • Make them as comfortable as you can – preferably without moving them.

Of the three situations I was involved in the injured dog was the most traumatic. The dog, a beautiful husky had run onto the road and was hit by a car and rolled underneath it. It was in terrible pain and we did what we could to comfort it while calling for help. The local animal shelters were unable to pick up the dog so eventually the owner had to transport it in his car. While we were struggling to slide the thrashing, squealing dog onto a mat in order to lift it into the car, a man who had witnessed the accident came over and gave the dog’s owner a beautiful soft blanket to cover the dog, wished him well and walked away.

It is very touching to witness the kindness of strangers. This man didn’t want or expect any thanks he just saw a need and did something to help. Even though it’s highly unlikely he will see my post, I just wanted to say “Thank you” to him.

Gill McCulloch


First aid training

Will I get sued if I give first aid to an injured person?

Many people fear being sued for coming to the aid of someone with an injury. This same fear often prevents people from getting trained in first aid. The clear message in the parable of the Good Samaritan is that assisting those in trouble is the right thing to do.

There is no general legal duty to help someone in an emergency except for a person who is involved in a motor vehicle accident. That person must stop and give all possible assistance to the persons involved. A failure to do so could mean being charged under the criminal code.

The law in every province in Canada encourages bystanders to give first aid. In BC, we have the Good Samaritan act. It specifically protects, against liability, citizens and medical professionals who act in good faith to give emergency assistance to ill or injured persons at the scene of an emergency. Under these laws, a person providing first aid who acts reasonably and prudently under the conditions of an emergency cannot be held responsible for the injuries suffered by the victim.

You never know when you are going to be called upon to assist in an emergency situation. It could be today. Register for a course and learn how to save a life. If you’re not sure which first aid/CPR course to take, please give us a call and we’ll be happy to help. Tel: 604-945-7277.