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                                                                                                             THE DIRECTOR FOR YOUTH AND SPORTS

                                                                             Address at the Closing of the Rakiraki First Aid Training, 25 September 2018 at 4.00 p.m.
                                                                                                                                                                                   

Invited Guests,
Participants,
Ladies and Gentlemen.

Bula Vinaka, Namaste, Salam Aleikum and a very good afternoon to you all.

It is indeed a privilege to have been invited to officially close the First Aid training here in Rakiraki.
First Aid knowledge is an invaluable tool for both you as the individual and for your community. It enables you to assist persons who become injured in the event of an accident or emergency situation until help arrives.

First Aid skills can be applied in the home, the workplace or in public locations, therefore the more First Aid certified people there are in a community the safer that community becomes.

Being a first responder is an honourable calling. Your training here empowers you and enables you to become a first responder in your homes and community.

In the rural settings that many of us come from, injuries and other accidents have become norms of society and many lead to further complications because of lack of knowledge to treat or address the situations we come across.

As unpleasant as it is to talk about, accidents and emergency situations are not completely preventable or unavoidable. This is why it is very important for as many people as possible to have at least a basic knowledge of First Aid. In its most basic form, First Aid is the initial assistance given to a victim of injury or illness.

Basic First Aid knowledge is comprised of relatively simple techniques and procedures that can be performed with limited equipment and is typically carried out until professional medical assistance arrives.

In Fiji today, the importance of having basic first aid knowledge is being communicated to our communities through these trainings and with assistance of Non-Governmental Organisations such as the Fiji Red Cross.

Delivering such trainings is government’s commitment towards society to ensure that we have a knowledgeable community capable of handling situations during emergencies.

In Suva today trial runs were conducted along the Nasese foreshore to create awareness on the dangers of tsunami and the logistical procedures in place by government to carry out an evacuation should the need arise.

Ladies and Gentlemen, in such case government is the first responder. It is also government’s responsibility towards all Fijians in ensuring safety and coherence in times of disaster.

In your communities with your newly acquired knowledge you will be the first responder in such situations and will also be the first to attend to the elderly, sickly and the injured because of what you have been trained here this week.

While everyone can benefit from First Aid knowledge and training it is an even greater benefit to those working or living with individuals who require ongoing special attention or treatment such as children, persons with physical or mental disabilities, persons with chronic illness, persons with disorders such as epilepsy, the elderly, persons involved in recreational activities such as swimming or people working in dangerous environments.

So it is indeed a noble feat to have acquired knowledge of first aid.

It is encouraging to see the youths of Ra standing up to the front line to be first responders if they come across an emergency situation where first aid is needed. This is more important in the Ra Province as it was one of the worst hit provinces during TC Winston. As we approach the cyclone season, indirectly you are preparing yourself for disaster situations where your training may come in handy and may be the difference between death or saving a person’s life.

I wish to take this opportunity to acknowledge the work of the Fiji Red Cross and their role in providing the Basic First Aid Training, not only in Ra but throughout the country. Your role has a very important place in preparing the community for emergency situations and we salute you for that.

With that sad Ladies and Gentlemen, I now officially close this First Aid training for the youths of the Province of Ra and wish you all success in your communities as first aiders and first responders.

God Bless you all and Vinaka Saka vakalevu.