“Reacting in emergencies” by the Belgian Red Cross"Reacting in emergencies” by the Belgian Red Cross
Following the Brussels attacks in March 2016, and drawing from the experience of the French Red Cross in responding to similar events in November 2015, the Belgian Red Cross proactively set up a new training module addressed at the general public: "Reacting in emergencies”.
People’s reactions in a heightened-emergency situations are not easy to predict. The "10-80-10” theory of survival states that 10% of people will be leaders that remain calm and lucid in an emergency, while the majority of people – 80 per cent – will be confused and bewildered, and the rest will lose control.
The Belgian Red Cross created a training module that would be relevant for all kinds of emergencies: whether human, technological or natural made. In this context, "emergencies” refers to situations where the number of victims supersedes the rescue team’s capacities, creating a gap for as long as the emergency coordination services are overwhelmed, and ending when there is sufficient capacity to reach every victim. In these cases, it is important that ordinary citizens be equipped with the right skills and knowledge to reduce risks for themselves and those around them. With this in mind, they devised training sessions specifically aimed at preparing people for emergency situations.
Belgian Red Cross
The trainings were launched 2 months after the Brussels attacks. They began on 23 May and continued every weekend for the following six-weeks until July. Participants learned how to react in the vital moments after an emergency has occurred and while they await for help to arrive. It is very important to retain self-control and seek out a safe area before attempting to assist others and offer First Aid if necessary. The trainings also explained the appropriate way of interacting with the police, army and medical teams during these situations. The sessions concluded with an exchange on how to handle personal stress, paying special attention to kids and relatives.
The trainings were received positively with approximately 2,000 people attending, and of those 86.9% stating that they found the trainings to be relevant, 63.6% saying that they feel like they could handle an emergency situation thanks to the training, and 70.4% of those surveyed saying that they would be interested in taking further first aid courses and getting the BEPS (European First Aid Certificate) to complete their training.
"The results are encouraging. Given the success of the trainings, we plan to expand the budget to host additional sessions in October and / or November 2016," said Secretary of State, Cécile Jodogne.
To learn more about the programme click here.