Accidents happen and although we may have a few Band-Aids, Betadine and a painkiller or two in our home medicine cabinet, in general we are not equipped to deal with anything more serious. First Aid and CPR in Egypt, a Cairo-based initiative, is hosting its first webinar on first aid on Monday 29 July in English and on Saturday 3 August in Arabic.
The webinar is hosted by Youmna Khalil, who took her first course in first aid when she was 15 and became an instructor with the international organisation Emergency First Responder [EFR] in 2011.
“I am currently certified to teach first aid, CPR and automatic external defibrillator (AED) for adults and children. We give internationally accredited first aid and CPR courses in both English and Arabic,” she explained.
Her reason for learning first aid and becoming an instructor was both personal and practical: “I travel a lot and encountered a couple harrowing of accidents. Luckily, some of us were trained in first aid. Others in general are not that lucky, look at the statistics we have for road accidents. As a result I decided to become an instructor and spread this knowledge among family, friends, co-workers and others,” she explained.
Khalil has been leading workshops for all ages in different settings, from corporate environments to awareness sessions for children. It is the first time she will conduct a webinar on the subject, something that has not been done in Egypt before. “A couple of weeks before Ramadan, one of my students approached me with this initiative to get people to be more productive, instead of just watching TV. He is a social entrepreneur so our goals met perfectly.”
Basic knowledge about first aid and CPR is something everyone should have, according to Khalil, who is one of the very few female instructors in this field. “We are in a culture that assumes only a doctor can help in case of an emergency. I did not study at medical school, but got my international certification as an instructor trainer so I am debunking this myth. As Egyptians, we do not realize the importance of first aid and CPR until it is too late. We are trying to get people to learn as a preventive method.”
Khalil offers this first webinar in both English and Arabic because she feels that the information should be available to everyone. “For technical reasons the webinar can take up to 24 participants,” Khalil explained, adding that hopefully others will follow in the near future. “This webinar is the first of its kind in Egypt so we are in the testing phase,” she said, adding “possibilities are endless.”
The webinars, which have been advertised through Facebook, are offered free of charge. “We have two tracks; the private/corporate track; and the public track, like the webinar, the first aid and CPR in Egypt Facebook page and posting articles on my blog,” Khalil said. “The aim of the public track is to raise general first aid awareness in Egypt which is much needed.”
In order to maintain and sustain the free classes, Khalil maintains paid individual and corporate clients, who sign up for the internationally certified course.
“This course needs participants to be physically present in a classroom. Our learning strategy relies on practice and not only the theoretical part. This will help participants to remember what they learned in case they face an emergency situation,” she said.
The webinars will run for one hour and the one in English will start at 9pm while the one in Arabic will start at 2pm. Details on how to sign up can be found at the First Aid and CPR In Egypt: Help Save a Life Facebook page.