These CHC members went beyond being equipped to help their brethren spiritually to being physically trained for emergencies such as heart attacks and fires.
By Reuel Eugene Tay
With a desire to be better equipped to aid their fellow brethren in the event of an emergency, 92 members from City Harvest Church’s Usher, Security and JAMS ministry attended the Community Emergency Preparedness Programme conducted by the Singapore Civil Defense Force on Oct. 14 after church service.
The programme kicked off promptly at 1.45pm with a lecture that covered topics such as Basic First Aid, one-man Cardio-Pulmonary Resuscitation and Automated External Defibrillator and, Fire Safety. All lessons came in two parts; theory and practical. Many old wives’ tales were debunked during the lecture.
Myths such as massaging or applying a hard-boiled egg on contusion wounds (aka “blue-black” or bruises) actually cause more harm than help, damaging more blood vessels as a result of the above actions. Instead, allowing the bruise to heal on its own is the way to go.
On burn wounds, the crowd was educated on the varying degree of burns. They learned the 4C principle to treat the burns: Cooling the injured part under cold water; removing constricting objects such as clothing, bracelets and watches from injured area; covering the injured area with clean, preferably sterile and non-adherent material and consulting a doctor or conveying the injured person to hospital.
Applying ice or ice water on burn wounds is strongly discouraged, because removing the ice from the wound will cause a sudden rise in temperature, causing the injured much pain. Applying toothpaste, lotion, ointment or cotton wool on injured area is also ruled out: one is encouraged to go straight for burn creams or any lotion specialized for treating burns.
Besides being educated on how to treat abrasion, incision, punctured, laceration wounds and amputation, the attendees were taught how to perform proper bandaging. They were given bandages to practice on a partner. Participants were greatly tickled by the act of binding up the heads and limbs of their ministry leaders and colleagues.
With heart disease being the second most common cause of death in Singapore and about 2,400 persons developing an acute heat attack or sudden cardiac arrest every year, the members were all ears when coached on how to perform CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) and to use an AED (automated external defibrillator). During the practical session, members tried out the proper procedures of performing mouth-to-mouth ventilation, chest compression and applying the AED.
Finally, the attendees were taught how to identify the different types of fire extinguishers and their application. For the uninitiated, fire extinguishers actually come in four classes for putting out different types of combustants, from paper to flammable liquids to metals like potassium and magnesium.
Users are to determine the form of fire first and only use the extinguishers of the right fit to put out the fire. Before calling it a day, the attendees have to put what they learned to the test by putting out a mock fire with a fire extinguisher. That day they earned their status as “fire-fighters” from the SCDF personnel.
Security elite Andrew Ng, 33, said, “Although I had attended a similar course before, this [programme] was a good refresher for me. It is important that we learn to care for one another not just spiritually, but also be equipped to take care of each other’s safety. I would definitely encourage ministry members to sign up if another session is organized by the church.”