Living in a strata scheme gives people the opportunity to be surrounded by a supportive communal environment – however it could also be life-saving. Many businesses ask for volunteers working for the company to undertake a First Aid and a Mental Health First Aid course so that there’s someone close by should these skills be required.
There’s no reason why strata schemes can’t also emulate a common practise in corporate Australia by also calling for volunteers to be trained in First Aid – especially given the fact that 75% of cardiac arrests occur in private residences.
If it’s approved at a general meeting, the cost could also potentially be covered by the strata scheme as there are significant benefits to the community. If the strata scheme covers the cost, then the volunteer would have an obligation to assist another member of the strata scheme on the premises. In all other scenarios the volunteer has a choice to help out as a good samaritan.
The underlying premise behind first aid is that you’re equipped with the appropriate skills until professional help arrives.
There are several accredited organisations that offer training courses.
In general a First Aid course covers such topics as CPR or cardiopulmonary resuscitation, basic emergency life support and general first aid. According at St John Ambulance Australia, patients who receive bystander CPR have a survival rate of around 14%, as opposed to less than 10% for patients who don’t receive CPR before professionals arrive.
If you live close to the bush, it may also be worth ensuring the course covers snake and spider bites.
Strata schemes may also consider investing in a defibrillator, as the use of CPR and defibrillation can increase the chance of survival even further.
There are also Mental Health courses that are equally beneficial. Given the situation with COVID and the looming threat of lockdowns, mental health has become even more important now. Each year, 1 in 5 Australians will experience a mental illness.
A mental health first aider follows the same principles as a “physical health” first aider. They’re equipped to recognise situations where people may be in imminent crisis due to their mental health and support them to get professional help.
Once the course has been successfully completed, you could put a sign on a communal notice board with the names and the numbers of the First Aiders and the Mental Health First Aiders. This way, if anyone in the scheme spots somebody in need of assistance, they know who to call.
If you have any questions about First Aiders for your strata scheme, call your Strata Manager at Netstrata.