Shelley Primary School enter virtual reality for first aid training

L-R: Michael Varughese (11), Kyla Squirres (12), Bradley Carle (Science Specialist, Shelley Primary School), Jane Heath (St John Community Education Officer) and Rachel Bevis (11). Picture: David Baylis
L-R: Michael Varughese (11), Kyla Squirres (12), Bradley Carle (Science Specialist, Shelley Primary School), Jane Heath (St John Community Education Officer) and Rachel Bevis (11). Picture: David Baylis

SHELLEY Primary School has taken part in one of the first school-based trials of a futuristic virtual reality first aid course.

The school was one of the first in the state to take part in St John Ambulance’s First Aid Skills program, which saw their Year 5-6 students step inside a 9sqm virtual reality pod to practice first aid techniques.

The technology, called First Aid Skills, allows users to respond to a virtual emergency via a virtual reality headset, which guides users through CPR, defibrillation and the DRSABCD action plan.

Sensors linked to a resuscitation mannequin provide feedback on the correct rate of compression during CPR and breathing frequency.

Teacher Bradley Carle said it was important for students to put their first aid skills into practice in a realisitic, lifelike environment.

“Having the ability to be in a virtual reality world and experience treating an injury or performing CPR is allowing students to understand what is involved and how to learn life saving skills,” he said.

As a St John volunteer for the past 22 years, Mr Carle said he recognised the benefits of the new program immediately.

“I approached the team and found that they were looking at integrating into the community the program, after holding a successful launch in Yagan Square during October this year,” he said.

“After having discussions with St John, I was able to work with my school to provide this learning experience to our students.”

Additionally, the school opened the event to parents to encourage the importance of knowing basic first aid skills.