First Aid Training for GCBR Team

Jul 3, 2023 | General News

The Gouritz Cluster Biosphere Reserve (GCBR) takes training very seriously and teaching programmes are incorporated into each project. Our team, including in-field contractors working on our various restoration projects, have undertaken a range of diverse training courses and training in the last six months amounted to 605 training person-days. Refer to our Projects page for more information on what we do.

By extension, and with the recent intake of interns for the Groen Sebenza Phase II Internship Programme, three these interns, our Field Manager & Programme Assistant, Mark Jantjies and 5 of our Gouritz Restoration Programme contractor team members (one from each team) recently took part in a five-day First Aid NQF 3 training course presented by Lesley Dick from Coalition Training and Skills Development PTY (Ltd).

Mark commented that “This is a crucial part of development of health and safety within the GCBR. I have peace of mind knowing that in the event something was to happen we have capacitated our teams to deal with these situations.”

The National Qualifications Framework (NQF) is the system that records the credits assigned to each level of learning to ensure that the skills and knowledge can be formally recognised and accredited throughout South Africa.

In terms of the Occupational Health and Safety Act No 85 of 1993 as amended by the Occupational Health and Safety Amendment Act No 181 of 1993 an employer (in this case, the GCBR) is required to provide employees and service providers with first aid training to allow them to be competent to provide front line medical assistance in the event of injury while at work.

Participants were assessed during the training, which included various activities that formed part of the “Portfolio of Evidence” which they submitted to their trainer for final assessment.

The purpose of the training and activities was to assist participants in gaining skills and knowledge and thereby enabling them to explain the principles of:

  • Advanced first aid in emergencies;
  • Demonstrating an advanced level of preparedness to deal with sudden illness or emergency;
  • Assessing and managing an emergency scene/ disaster;
  • Describing the anatomy and explaining the physiology of the human body systems in terms of injury or sudden illness;
  • Applying primary first aid for adults, children and infants; and
  • Explaining and managing shock.

Everyone was assessed on completion of the training and the participants are now well positioned to react to emergencies at an advanced first aid level, at least until the arrival of professional emergency personnel. It is important to the GCBR that we ensure our teams are equipped with the skills to handle emergency situations and we are confident that this training has achieved this.

The Certificate of Competence associated with the training will be valid for three years followed by regular re-assessment.

This is what our interns had to say:

“I believe the knowledge gained from the first aid course will assist me with implementing my health and safety better as they are interconnected and my favourite part of the course was the video showing the process of the body pumping the heart (mind-blowing how intricately we humans have been created).” – Leila

“First Aid Saves lives! First aid training has equipped me with the basic knowledge and skills to provide immediate assistance in case of emergencies. By knowing how to administer CPR, control bleeding, or stabilise injuries, has made me recognise that I can potentially save a life before medical professionals arrive.” – Nelisiwe

“The 5 P’s (Principles of First Aid) stood out for me because it is a vital tool in any scenario to assist a patient. These are “Preserve Life, Protect, Provide Reassurance, Prevent Deterioration, and Promote Recovery.

It is important to preserve and protect a patient’s life whether in field or at work, to provide assurance that he or she will be okay and will recover. It is vital to make sure the injured person does not deteriorate further and lastly make sure to promote recovery until emergency services arrive.” – Lee‑Ann

The Groen Sebenza Phase II Programme is funded by the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and Environment (DFFE) and is implemented by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI)

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