First Aid Training Seminars in public libraries of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

In cases of natural disasters (floods, earthquakes, large scale accidents), response time is of paramount importance. An amount of 80% of people accidentally involved in emergency situations are rescued by other people standing near them,an amount of 15% by the local authority organized action and only 5% by rescuers or other groups. Statistically speaking, 90% of the help provided is by people with no expertise or specific training on dealing with these situations. In this context, through our seminars, we aspire to sufficiently prepare and educate the citizens of our city to prevent and deal with potential everyday dangers and emergency health conditions and make them able to help themselves, their families or their fellow citizens.

These seminars are targeted at people of all ages, families, young parents and students.

The last 4 years (2-month seminars of 2 days per week, 3-hour courses). The program is ongoing.

Our seminars are held during specific hours and days arranged in cooperation with the public libraries' staff of the Municipality of Thessaloniki. In each library, two 3-hour seminars take place concerning the following issues: identification and handling of an emergency such as trauma, burns, drowning, fainting etc. Futhermore, specific topics, such as identification of loss of breath and its consequences, how to call an ambulance, resuscitation techniques and defibrillator use, are taught during the seminars. Rescuers apply the techniques in real time, thus the participants, subsequently, practice on them.

Our organization collaborates with the Municipality of Thessaloniki and the local libraries.

5 to 7 volunteer rescuers are responsible for the first aid trainee seminars, in rotation.

Public libraries of the Municipality of Thessaloniki

The outcome of these seminars was clearly positive as our program is running during the last four consecutive years. According to the initial seminar planning, the first aid trainee program would be held, annually, between January and February. However, because of the enthusiastic remarks and the increased interest of the citizens who requested the repetition of the program, a second cycle of seminars has been arranged for March and April. Besides this, 4 - 8 participants from each class requested the attedance of a certified seminar.

Our program is running continuously the last four years. During these years, first aid seminars carried out in 30 public libraries (10 per year) of the Municipality of Thessaloniki with an average of 45 participants.

Overall, 1,500 persons involved in our programs. 10% of them received CPR Certification and 40-50 became active members of O.DI.K.