Escape and first aid are two skills that I find to be crucial. However, these skills are not given enough emphasis and attention by the people in Vietnam. Everyone should equip themselves with these skills. My haunting story began with a trip to Ba Pagoda (Binh Duong) on the full-moon day earlier this year.

Lack of escape and first aid skills

On my way back from the pagoda, I encountered a terrible traffic jam on Binh Trieu Bridge. Vehicles such as cars and motorcycles were stuck, we were unable to open the doors. The traffic was congested, and everything was chaotic for hours. I was afraid the bridge would collapse, and I couldn’t breathe. My immediate thought was to find a way to escape, to get out of this crowded mass of people right away…

Fortunately, I managed to escape after a few hours. Since then, I have never gone to the pagoda on crowded days. After experiencing difficulty breathing during New Year’s Eve fireworks several times, I became more reluctant to be in crowded places. I didn’t want to become a victim.

On October 1st, 127 people died in a stampede at a football stadium in Indonesia. On the night of October 29th, 153 people died due to overcrowding in Itaewon Street (Seoul, South Korea). On November 1st, 141 people died due to a collapse of a suspension bridge over a river in India. . These three consecutive disasters claimed the lives of over a hundred people each. It was because they lacked escape skill and could not aware what was happening.

escape and first aid
Trampling disaster on Itaewon Street (Korea) on Halloween night 202

Why I decided to learn first aid and escape skills

Therefore, I firmly believe that I need to equip myself with escape skills and learn how to administer first aid promptly. The purpose is to help myself first and then others around me.

As mentioned earlier, I decided to “seek a master” to learn first aid and escape skills, primarily to save myself. I enrolled in the “First Aid and Survival Skills” course organized by SSVN (Survival Skills Vietnam). The training was conducted by a foreign expert, and I had to wait for two weeks to attend it.

A family attended first aid class

In the class, I met many young participants, including a few children (around 2nd or 3rd grade). I was quite surprised by that. Mr. Tony Coffey – Training director of SSVN He is an expert from the Sydney Rescue Association and the New South Wales Rescue Academy (Australia). And he is 65 years old. The first aid and survival skills class took place in a friendly atmosphere, like a big family.

A diverse age range of participants attended the first aid class

The class had 20 participants, including three high school students. The three children accompanied their parents because there was no one to look after them at home on Sundays. The participants took a multiple-choice test on first aid knowledge before the class started. The two-day extracurricular class included theoretical lessons in the classroom and practical exercises in the yard, sometimes even in the park.

Feedback after learning first aid and escape skills

The pedagogical students who joined in the class agreed that the first aid course was the shortest course. However, they found it to be the most practical and useful knowledge they had acquired during their four years of university. They learned internationally standardized first aid skills such as wound dressing, CPR, insect bites, burns.

Mr. Pham Tuan Nghia, who attended the class with his two children, shared his thoughts: “The class was excellent. It helped students understand the principles of first aid, prioritize and handle injuries, and position victims (conscious and unconscious), as well as CPR.”

Devin Kurtis Bond (from the United States), the only international student in the class, expressed his interest in topics such as dealing with choking, food poisoning, bleeding, excessive bleeding, arterial bleeding, and shock recognition. Additionally, topics like burns, bone injuries, soft tissue injuries, treating various types of bites, and poisoning were also covered. He also mentioned electrical accidents, drowning, and how to escape from crowded situations, stampedes, and fires.

Devin practiced first aid on a victim in a role-play

Young Tin, a 3rd-grade student, kept asking his father, “When will we have a first aid class for us?” (class specifically designed for children under 10 years old). Three children enjoyed practicing first aid on dolls (infants). It seemed like learning together with adults make them proud of themselves. They also had the opportunity to prove that they were not inferior to their parents and other classmates.

Two sisters practiced first aid together.

Practical “benefits” gained from participating in the escape and first aid class

Initially, I thought the class would be boring. However, as soon as I entered the classroom, I was captivated by the vivid practical exercises and the laughter of the participants, despite the age gap of up to three generations.

During the course, we role-played as victims in specific scenarios. The purpose was to visualize the first aid steps easily. Before the victims were taken to the hospital for treatment, we only had a short time to provide immediate first aid. Otherwise, the consequences would be severe. After the class, many participants still stayed and discussed what they had learned.

At the end of the course, the participants were awarded a “Certificate of Completion for Basic First Aid and Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) Training.” Along with it, each participant received a “First Aid and Escape Instruction Handbook” Level 1 with beautiful and vivid illustrations. After attending the class, I realized its full value.

I hope to see more classes and similar programs organized by SSVN. Its scope should extend beyond Ho Chi Minh City and cover the entire country. I wish every child in Vietnam could be like the 9-year-old child in the class. After completing the course, this child can confidently perform first aid.

These are the reflections and feedback from the attendees in escape and first aid training organized by the social enterprise SSVN. If you have any questions related to first aid courses and knowledge, don’t hestitate to contact us at 0773051902. SSVN is ready to support and answer your inquiries immediately.

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