Safe Steps First Aid scheme sees first S'porean ambassador
Almost 16,000 people die from injuries every day globally, and 80 per cent of such tragedies are due to accidents at home.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (IFRC) has cited home injuries as the easiest to prevent, and it has produced a series of six public service announcement videos to educate people on basic first-aid skills.
The topics covered in the Safe Steps First Aid programme include how to deal with burns, falls, stroke and perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation.
Launched on IFRC's World First Aid Day on Sept 9, the programme partners National Geographic and Prudential's regional community investment arm, Prudence Foundation.
The Safe Steps First Aid programme is preceded by its Natural Disasters and Road Safety programmes.
National Geographic and Fox networks have been broadcasting the videos on 17 channels across the region since the launch in nine languages.
Mr Ong Wee Chee, 26, is the programme's first Singaporean ambassador.
The paramedic at a private ambulance company, who has been volunteering at the Singapore Red Cross for nine years, appears in two one-minute videos, sharing first-aid tips to tackle bleeding and choking cases.
He told The New Paper that seven out of 10 emergency calls he receives in a 12-hour shift can be treated with basic first-aid skills.
He said: "We (the Red Cross) advocate that family members learn first-aid skills to help the patient first, then see if there is a need to call an ambulance."
The most common home injuries he sees are falls and elderly-related accidents.
Falls from height are a common cause of death for children, and more than 80 per cent of children's head injuries occur at home, said KK Women's and Children's Hospital.
Mr Ong is one of three Asian ambassadors, with doctor and humanitarian Maria Guevara from the Philippines and Bali-based lifeguard, Mr Marshello Aryafara.
They were chosen by Prudence Foundation for their dedication to saving lives at work.
Mr Ong said his friends from Malaysia and Hong Kong have seen the videos, and he is glad the programme is gaining traction overseas.
"It is good that people in the region are seeing the videos. They will be aware that first aid can be simple to do," he said.