Everyone has the potential to be a hero. You don’t have to be extraordinary. The secret lies in having courage. For many people, that means having the courage to put into practice the knowledge and techniques learned at courses such as CPR (cardio-pulmonary resuscitation) and Provide First Aid.

Often, in emergency situations, we expect someone else to respond – maybe a designated first aid officer in a workplace, or Surf Lifesavers at the beach, or St Johns ambulance officers at a sporting event.  You may not be as skilled as these highly trained people, but if you have done the CPR and Provide First Aid courses, you have the tools to potentially save a life.

Much emphasis is placed on the annual road toll, but another area where CPR especially can be vital is in and around water. The statistics on drownings are not as dramatic as transport related deaths; nonetheless, the figures are disturbing.

Each year, Royal Life Saving publishes a National Drowning Report, and their latest report indicates that in Australia in the 2014/15 financial year, 271 people drowned. The highest proportion of drowning deaths were male (80%) followed by people aged upwards of 50 years (33%), then women (20%), then children aged between 0 and four years (10%). Most of the drowning deaths (89) occurred in summer.

Queensland’s contribution to the total drowning deaths was 62 (23%). The greatest number of drownings occurred in inland waterways such as creeks, rivers and dams (99 deaths), with beaches coming second (55 deaths). Although beaches appear less deadly than inland waterways, Surf Lifesaving Queensland (SLSQ) has identified several ‘drowning black spots’ on the Sunshine Coast – Stumers Creek, Coolum to Sunshine Beach, and Marcoola SLSC to Point Arkwright.

The most important thing when a victim is retrieved from water is to commence CPR immediately and continue until a paramedic crew arrives. Even if the outcome is not as we would wish, you are a hero for trying. Many of the heroes who try without achieving a positive outcome don’t receive the recognition they deserve; recognition that might inspire others in similar situations.

So if you have a CPR or Provide First Aid certificate from one of the courses provided by Allens Training on the Sunshine Coast, have courage in emergency situations, and put your learning to use – you’ll be a hero for having a go.

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