First Aid Instruction for Fire Departments
The suggestion contained in a letter printed in the correspondence colum of this week’s issue of FIRE AND WATER ENGINEERING from Ex-Chief Wallace, of Dobbs Ferry, is an excellent one. Many of the paid fire departments include in their instruction of new men a course in first aid to the injured, but with volunteers the case is different. Comparatively few follow the plan of a systematic instruction of their members in this very necessary course. In case of accident at fires and otherwise when the services of the department are called upon, the knowledge of emergency surgery may result not only in the relief of much suffering on the part of the person or persons affected but at times in the saving of a precious life. The prompt application of a tourniquet to the proper spot and the stopping of a hemorrhage, for instance, may result in the saving of a person from bleeding to death before the surgeon can be summoned. In most cases there will be found a physician in the town who is sufficiently public spirited to give the necessary instruction to the members of the department gratis. In return he could be elected an honorary member or even officer of the department, but should it turn out that none of the village doctors are willing to give this course free, the small expenditure necessary to secure a lecturer on first aid would be much more than covered by the increased efficiency of the members in their work as firemen, for a very important part of the firemen’^ duty is to care for those rescued and make them as comfortable as possible until the doctor arrives. This suggestion should be followed up by all departments, both paid and volunteer, which have already done so and a regular course in first aid incorporated in the instruction necessary to become a member of the fire department.