During the summer term, more than 40 Polytechnic University (PolyU) students attended a special class at the Fire & Ambulance Services Academy.
They had signed up for a newly-offered selective course at their university - Fundamentals of Emergency Care & Critical Response - jointly offered by PolyU’s School of Nursing and the Fire Services Department (FSD).
PolyU student Emily Chen, who attended a class at the academy which is part of the course, explained why she wanted to learn from the FSD lecturers.
“I do not want to be the person who just stands there and does not know what to do because I know that accidents can happen anytime, anywhere. So I think through this course, I can learn the actual skills to help someone when they are in need.”
Miss Chen added that she had attained a first aid certificate but lacked the confidence to put it into action.
“But after this course, my confidence level really received a boost because I got to do cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and the instructors were there to guide me and tell me the reasons behind those protocols. So now I know what to do and why I should do them.”
Fellow PolyU student Simon Fung also joined the course to boost his confidence.
“After I started my studies in optometry, I saw two incidents which needed people to do first aid, but I just could not do anything because that is not included in my major.
“After I studied this course, I found that CPR is not a difficult skill and it can really save people’s lives.”
One of the FSD lecturers, Ambulance Officer (Community Training) Yuen Ka-ho, noted that the course is designed to enhance students' confidence and skills in responding to emergencies or unexpected incidents, so that they can actively assist rescue personnel, and build a stronger and more effective safety net for the community.
“The course focuses on both theory and practice, with a lot of real-life examples to help students understand and apply the content.”
The six-hour class at the academy covers the application of cardiopulmonary resuscitation, the use of automated external defibrillators (AEDs), how to manage someone who is choking as well as treating basic wounds.
The FSD has long been formulating and implementing strategies on community emergency preparedness. The course helps the department to further promote the “three basic skills on emergency preparedness” ie Extinguish & Prevent Fire, Self-help & Help Others as well as Escape & Evacuate in the community while fostering a culture of “self-help and help others” in the wider community.
Senior Station Officer (Community Training) Lee Kwan-shing, who also lectures on the course, added that the students will also remember to remain calm under pressure and think before making a decision in an emergency.
“Students will learn to operate real life extinguishers and hose reel systems to boost their confidence when using them in an emergency.
“A lot of interactive elements are added in the lesson on escape and evacuation. Instructors will discuss with students the pros and cons of certain decisions or actions, so as to enhance their evacuation knowledge.”
PolyU School of Nursing Associate Professor of Practice Timothy Lai noted that the course also equips the students with vital skills for their lives after university.
“We believe this subject can enhance students’ life-saving capacity, help them in future and in different careers. Helping them not only to save others but also to save themselves.
“The School of Nursing is very honoured to collaborate with the Fire Services Department to organise this subject. The majority of students have provided positive feedback on the course.”
Mr Lee supplemented that the department has gained valuable experience through its collaboration with PolyU and will explore opportunities to work with other tertiary institutions in future.
PolyU will continue to offer the course in the coming school year for all undergraduates.
In June, the FSD and PolyU signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a collaborative partnership in jointly organising a course on the fundamentals of emergency care and critical response.