Everyone can be a lifesaver in the bush

Posted on: 14 Sep 2021

Katherine West Health Board has partnered with Ninti Training Limited to deliver a series of Bush First Aid sessions to Aboriginal communities in the Katherine West region. The 24 sessions are being delivered across Lajamanu, Kalkaringi, Daguragu, Nitjpurru, Yarralin, Timber Creek and surrounding communities and empower everyday people to save lives.

The Bush First Aid course teaches community members about basic life support principles, chain of survival, and responses to a range of different injuries – such as burns, chest pain, bleeding, eye injuries, poisons and bites. Importantly, the sessions focus on delivering practical first aid with the resources that are available to community members in the bush.

First aid is an essential skill for those living and working in remote communities, as the prohibitive distance to health care services can have significant impacts on a casualty’s injuries and survival. The first response is the most critical in reducing long-term harm, and – in more serious cases – ensuring survival.

The two hour course is facilitated by long-time Territorian and passionate educator, Ray ‘Stingray’ Menhinnitt OAM for Ninti Training Limited. Mr Menhinnitt has been teaching first aid, water safety and CPR to Aboriginal communities for over 20 years. His work in first aid includes the creation of You Can Help, a learning tool which simplifies first aid and makes it accessible for everyone. Ninti Training is an Aboriginal Community Controlled Registered Training Organisation, delivering training and employment opportunities for local Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander residents.

The Bush First Aid sessions are being delivered to diverse community groups including parents at Families as First Teachers and participants of the Community Development Program, in addition to general community sessions throughout the Katherine West region. All participants receive a certificate of attendance.

“This course takes its inspiration from Bush Mechanics knowing that Aboriginal people are innovative and with training, may save a life. We hope this leads to further first aid training” said Raelene Beale, GM Ninti Training Ltd.

“We’re proud to partner with Ninti Training to deliver Bush First Aid to the Katherine West communities. This gives our mob out bush an opportunity to learn basic, practical skills that are critically important when injuries and medical incidents occur in a remote setting,” said Sinon Cooney, CEO Katherine West Health Board.

“If basic steps are taken just after an incident happens – it can make all the difference for when a health professional arrives. This course has been developed specifically for the bush – which means they’re working with what they’ve got and things that happen in a real life situation.”