Our offices are large, more than 1,500 people in one location. First aid helpers are needed, if something goes wrong. When the enquiry arrived, who would like to be trained in first aid, I began to think. Obviously at some time in the secondary school I had learned how to bandage a wound, to stop bleeding or massage a heart. That is ages ago. I’m not certain that I could still do this.
I thought once again. I have a team of 70 people. I am responsible for helping them, for getting the best out of them, for developing them into outstanding specialists. But what if one of them fainted? Could I help? No,I couldn’t have done that then. That is why I registered.
The first aid training was exciting. Some things have changed, I have forgotten a lot and much is new. In an emergency I could help. But knowledge is lost, if it is not used. Therefore every first aid assistant has to attend a refresher course every two years. That’s why I went to Nottwil. Nottwil is known for its Paraplegic Centre. That is where the refresher course was held. We spent the coffee break in the canteen with the patients. That was depressing and at the same time encouraging. To see so many people in wheelchairs, from very, very young to very old teaches humility.
Over lunch I observed how some of them raced down the ramp in their wheelchairs from the upper stories to the dining room on the ground floor at hellish speed and with laughter in their eyes.
During the afternoon break I stood outside. Spring has come and I watched the patients making their circuits on the sports field in their wheelchairs.
I completed the training successfully. You must not worry about fainting next to me. I know what to do. The strongest impression that I took with me was humility. The humility of having much that others no longer have and the knowledge that that is anything but a matter of course.
Image source: Swiss paraplegic foundation