Two people with medical conditions recently collapsed while at the community house; Trevor, who had an epileptic seizure, and Helen, a diabetic whose blood sugar level dropped suddenly.
Community House Coordinator Wendy Laird and volunteer receptionist Ilaise Funganitao were on hand to deal with both emergencies, and the pair are thanking their lucky stars they’d just had training in basic first aid.
“We didn’t panic,” says Wendy. “We knew exactly what to do thanks to the training we’d had a few weeks prior.”
Wendy and Ilaise were part of a group of local community house workers who took part in a day-long first aid course at the Hutt City Council, learning the basics such as recognising when someone is in trouble, through to providing CPR.
When the course covered off recognising and dealing with strokes, heart attacks and seizures, little did they know that just weeks later they would be faced with the real thing.
They have no doubt that things could have turned out differently had they not had the training.
“We just took control,” says Ilaise, adding that both emergencies happened on Foodbank Day – the house’s busiest period.
“Not only did we have to assess them, help get them into recovery position and talk to the emergency services, we had dozens of people around who we had to manage as well,” says Wendy. “We were calm and collected on the outside, but inside our hearts were racing!”
Both Trevor and Helen have recovered, and continue to be among the 175 people who used the community house’s facilities last month.
Trevor said Wendy and Ilaise did everything right as he started to seize, “by keeping me away from furniture, and talking to me and reassuring me that an ambulance was on its way.” He couldn’t thank them enough for their care.
Council supports community centres and houses in the region, and also provides support and training for non-profit community groups. Find out more about our community support.