St John Ambulance launch emergency management program for kids

Ivie and Chalice Brown with St John volunteer Aisha Ahmed.
Picture: Bruce Hunt           d464359
Ivie and Chalice Brown with St John volunteer Aisha Ahmed. Picture: Bruce Hunt         d464359

ST John Ambulance (SJA) WA launched a program to teach 15,000 WA children under eight years old emergency management skills in Wanneroo last Thursday.

Backed by surgeon Fiona Wood, the SJA Early Childhood Program aims to teach pre-school and kindergarten students how to identify an emergency, assess potential danger and call triple zero if needed.

The free in-school program was launched at the City of Wanneroo Library on January 19, where Dr Wood read 000 Hero – a book introducing children to St John Ambulance and the work of paramedics – to about 40 children and parents.

SJA youth and community engagement manager Jae Smith said the program, scheduled to start next month, would teach children basic emergency first-aid skills and provide a foundation to learn more techniques.

“The Early Childhood Program is about engaging with young children and educating them about first aid so that they know what to do in an emergency,” Ms Smith said.

“The program is linked to the WA curriculum and is designed to engage at an age-appropriate level.

“We don’t ever want children to see an ambulance as something to be afraid of, which is why it’s important to introduce them to St John Ambulance at a young age and teach them about the work of paramedics.

“As children get older they’re likely to participate in more advanced St John Ambulance programs.”

Dr Wood, who is a mother of six and former Australian of the Year, said that while young children may not always be capable of administering first-aid treatments, they could still save a life.

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