On July 12, the Greater Prince William County MRC held a 4-hour training exercise to teach non-medical volunteers and community members how to provide basic initial care to survivors in the immediate aftermath of an incident, either manmade or natural. Representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Association (FEMA), NACCHO, and the DCVMRC were present to observe this training, a pilot project called “Becoming an Active Bystander.” In partnership with the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and FEMA, the Greater Prince William County MRC in Manassas, Virginia was selected to participate in this pilot project. Participants also learned how to manage bleeding, blocked airways, burns, hypothermia, drowning, and how to communicate with emergency responders when they arrive at the scene.
Daniel Ferrell, MRC Training Coordinator who led the exercise emphasized that “the goal of this training is to strengthen the role and ability of persons to save lives when at the scene of an unexpected emergency. This is critical when you take into consideration that it takes anywhere from 5-20 minutes for emergency responders to arrive at a scene. Active bystanders do save lives!”
During the training exercise, participants received a manual that included resources and guidelines for preparing and preventing emergencies. Following this training, which was also conducted at six other locations in Virginia, Florida, and Tennessee, feedback will be provided to CDC and FEMA representatives to help improve the content and focus for these types of trainings in the future.
Review resources from the training: