K1 DIRECT Programme Manager Iris Hakkens (left) during EMR training. 

 

PHILIPSBURG--Six K1 DIRECT St. Maarten members have completed their Emergency Medical Response (EMR) training facilitated by Windward Islands Emergency Medical Services (WIEMS).

  The training certifies the members for the next two years. The theoretical and practical trainings were conducted over a four-month period and consisted of two evening sessions per week of theory and several weekend sessions of practical training and assessments.

  The group first covered an introduction to Emergency Medical Services (EMS) systems, ethical principles of emergency care, caring for numerous emergencies and processes of the biological system.

  A year after Hurricane Irma, K1 Britannia Foundation launched its Disaster Relief and Crisis Team called K1 DIRECT which was formed to fill the needs the foundation identified in disaster response on the island and in the region – in its experience with relief work after Irma and Hurricane Maria. K1 DIRECT now consists of 40 volunteers in St. Maarten and Curaçao.

  Emergency medical response is an integral part of effectively and holistically being able to assist persons in crisis situations, K1 said in a press release.

  This training explored roles, responsibilities, and limitations of an Emergency Medical Responder, including topics such as standard of care, medical directory, expressed and informed consent. It then dived into topics related to caring for muscle/bone injuries, resuscitation, respiratory emergencies, soft tissue injuries, bleeding, pregnancy, and infant care, to name a few. The course concluded with both a theoretical exam and practical assessment to test the volunteers’ ability to apply the knowledge shared.

  “We touched on a broad number of topics, including not only common trauma situations such as broken bones and active bleeding, but also emergencies involving patients with pre-existing medical conditions such as diabetes, epilepsy, or cardiac problems.

  “The training was really comprehensive, as we covered basic medical jargon, which is important, for instance, in relaying information on the location of injury in relation to the patient’s body, interview skills and questions, and interpreting basic vital signs,” K1 DIRECT Programme Manager Iris Hakkens said.

  “This training has given us the skills to treat life-threatening injuries to the best of our abilities until the professionals can tend to our patients, giving them the best chance of survival and avoiding further complications.

  “I’ve already had to use some of the skills learned on a few occasions, and I’ve unfortunately also been through the devastating experience of not being able to save a life, but it has showed me that I am capable of jumping in to assist when there is a need and to give someone the best chance at survival, and that’s what we’re trained to do.”

  K1 DIRECT volunteer Laura Bijnsdorp summed her experience with the training saying, “The emergency responder training held by K1 DIRECT and WIEMS was extensive and fruitful. It delved into many situations one might encounter during emergency/disaster situations. I am very grateful to have the opportunity to learn about first-aid skills and hopefully I can be of better assistance during an emergency situation.”

  The EMR training was made possible by K1 DIRECT’s founding sponsor Carnival Cruise Line, which has committed to become a long-term partner in disaster relief and found it imperative to play a meaningful part in not only the recovery, but also preparation.

  Persons interested in joining K1 DIRECT can contact

[email protected] or call tel. +1-721-580-3923.