Last week Borneo Nature Foundation (BNF) was visited by Dr. Chet Trivedy from Tulsi Foundation who facilitated the First Aid Training for the field and the office staff members at BNF. The training aims at raising work safety awareness among BNF staff members particularly those field staff who work in the remote forest sites of Rungan and Sebangau National Park.
“I feel this [first aid training] is incredibly important for conservation because field staff work in very remote areas where the access to healthcare is limited. First Aid Training could actually help keep the frontline [staff] safe and I do believe that it also has an impact upon conservation” said Dr. Chet.
The first aid training gives invaluable experience for the frontline staff members. This [the training] will enable the staff to be proactive in assisting their injured workmates while on duty in the field or anyone in an event of an emergency until the help arrives. Having to know what to do is the key to save other’s lives that might be at risk.
“While the field staff members were patrolling and one of them [the staff] getting injured, another person should be able to help. Having basic first aid training will enable that person to help this injured staff to make the patrolling effective. If it’s not effective, not only that injured guy is a danger but animals and environment are also at risk” Dr. Chet added.
Being a helpless witness when an accident happens might potentially worsen the situation. In conservation, willing or not an accident can happen at any time to anyone and anywhere ranging from snakebites, falling from the trees or boats on the river, or trapped deep in the burnt peatland.
At its most basic, first aid could be defined as the initial assistance that somebody can do to help the injured or hardly-breathed victim until the real help arrives. To do it, one should understand the basic techniques of the first aid to better give the initial assistance and know what kits/equipment are needed to perform the help and how to use them.
Dr. Chet visited the two remote sites where BNF works for conservation projects; Rungan and Sebangau National Park forests. He came to Rungan forest on the first day and gave the CPR training for our 16 camp staff.
In the following day, it was the opportunity for our Sebangau field staff to harvest the first aid knowledge from Tulsi. In Sebangau National Park, Supian (from the gibbon team) was chosen to play a role as a victim that just fell from a tree while other staff members acted as rescuers were asked to give our chatty casualty a help. It was a rescue simulation that took place about 1.5 km deep in the Sebangau peat-swamp forest.
“It’s such an enriching experience. You know we work in the forest all day long and that bad thing can just happen at any time. Knowing this will help us understand the first thing to do if our friends got injured” said Supian in his bloody casualty shirt.
The same as the field staff, our office members also got the opportunity to learn from Dr. Chet regarding the first aid training. Dr. Chet also conducted the health survey to the attendees to understand the scale and the type of problems around health.
In conservation, health is an integral part because if we don’t pay any attention to the health of our frontline staff, conservation work might suffer. It is because conservation relies heavily on the manpower of the frontline staff to defend, protect, and preserve the environment. If these forest guardians are not healthy, animals, forests, and the environment will be at high risk.