Bolstering the First Aid Capacity of the Bhutan Red Cross Society

To strengthen the capacity of the sister National Societies, the Singapore Red Cross Academy's Centre for First Aid and Life Support (SRCA-CFALS) team, consisting of five expert trainers, conducted 3 comprehensive courses for 20 participants at the Bhutan Red Cross Society (BRCS) in Thimphu.

Conducted over five days in April, Bhutan Red Cross Society staff and volunteer leaders from different regions in Bhutan received training in the Occupational First Aid Instructor Course, Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR), and Automated External Defibrillator (AED) Instructor Course.

Singapore Red Cross Academy x Bhutan Red Cross 2

The training sessions included practical applications, mock teaching exercises, rigorous assessment and certification requirements. This intensive program aims to build capacity by equipping participants with the relevant skills and knowledge to provide quality first-aid training within their community. 

"The courses were highly beneficial as they provided an in-depth understanding of essential first aid techniques, crucial for effective emergency response. The courses also improved my teaching methods, equipping me with classroom management skills, and the ability to conduct training sessions for diverse audiences. These make me a more competent and confident trainer," said Mr Karma Dhendup, Health Officer, Bhutan Red Cross Society.

Mr Dhendup also gleaned insights into practical techniques, and how simulation and role-playing can enhance learning. 

"During the training, I gained valuable insights into the importance of practical, hands-on experience for mastering first aid techniques, and how simulation and role-playing can significantly enhance learning. Furthermore, the training underscored the importance of clear communication when teaching first aid," he said. 

Following the training, Mr Dhendup is confident about imparting the skills to other volunteers.

"I am now more confident about imparting first aid skills to our volunteers. The training included ample opportunities to practise teaching, receive constructive feedback, and refine my methods. These have built my confidence in delivering effective training sessions. I feel empowered to mentor and support volunteers, guiding them as they develop their first aid skills," Mr Dhendup said.

Singapore Red Cross Academy x Bhutan Red Cross 1

For the SRCA-CFALS First Aid trainers, the experience was enriching and inspiring, contributing to the growth and capacity-building of BRCS employees and volunteers, and fostering a spirit of collaboration and shared expertise.  

"It was my first experience visiting Bhutan, and first deployment overseas teaching first aid as an SRC trainer. The trip was an enriching and inspiring experience. I found it inspiring to see the BRCS's volunteer leaders' dedication to learning and willingness to serve their community. Our interaction with the volunteers and employees of BRCS enabled us to learn more about how they serve their respective communities and their experiences amid the pandemic. We also glimpsed into the operations of another National Society while experiencing the hospitality of the Bhutanese culture," said Mr Mah Wei Siang, one of the SRCA-CFALS First Aid trainers. 

Conducted in alignment with the Singapore regulation ISO 29993: 2017, certified by SOCOTEC Certification Singapore, these courses will significantly bolster the capacity of BRCS employees and volunteers to deliver effective first-aid training as first-aid instructors. This initiative will enhance first aid preparedness and proficiency among volunteers, strengthening community resilience in Bhutan.