Women in the Lower Galilee town of Deir Al Asad were recently trained in the basics of lifesaving by ZAKA volunteers, in a first-of-its-kind joint initiative between ZAKA’s Eshet Lapidot and the Deir Al Asad local council. This, in order to give the women of the community the basic skills in lifesaving techniques to be used in the home and educational frameworks.

This course is part of a free, large-scale, community-wide initiative, to train every woman, mother,  caregiver, teacher or housewife with the requisite basic first aid and resuscitation techniques that could save lives in the event of an emergency, before the arrival of qualified emergency personnel.

The four-hour course includes CPR on a child and infant, treatment of strangulation from a foreign body, how to identify common medical emergencies in children and how to create a safe environment. The course, delivered by a trained ZAKA paramedic volunteer, combines theoretical study and hands-on practice.

In sharp contrast to the common perception that home is the safest place for children, data from recent years indicate the opposite trend – two-thirds of children’s hospitalizations are attributed to accidents at home. Among the cases with the highest incidence of accidents at home: electric shock, ingestion of a foreign body and contact with hazardous substances. Most of the cases occur when one of the parents (often the mother) is alone at home. The first reaction is typically a cry for help and a call to the emergency services, especially when she does not have the tools to deal with the crisis. This is how the ‘four golden minutes’ pass, that critical time during which the brain is starved of oxygen and the damage can be irreversible.

At the end of the course, which was conducted within the restrictions imposed by the corona crisis, Deir Al Asad council head Ahmad Dabah, presented the participants with certificates and first aid kits, and looked forward to further courses in the future.