Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste sees volunteer training in first aid and emergency response as a vital part of its operations.
A team of well-trained Red Cross Volunteers recently demonstrated their importance to the community by delivering life-saving first aid to victims of a horrific collision in regional Timor-Leste.
Four people died and almost 20 more were seriously injusred when troupe-carrier crashed two hours south of Dili.
Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste volunteers were called to the local hospital in Aileu to help treat those who survived the crash. Nurses and doctors in Aileu were overwhelmed by the size of the emergency and the volunteers stepped-in to help.
They assisted medical staff in stabilizing the most critically ill patients before helping to take them on the long drive to the National Hospital in Dili.
Local police and medical staff praised the volunteers for their efforts.
Ninha Xavier Pereira, from the organization’s health team, said the accident was a tragedy but the outcome could have been much worse if it was not for the volunteers. “They knew exactly what to do. More than ten people may have died if the volunteers had not been there to help the patients. The volunteers were very professional and saved many lives. For me, I say congratulations for working so hard to help people in their community,” she said.
The volunteers who assisted in the emergency were commended at International Volunteer Day celebrations in Dili on December 5.
Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste organizational development coordinator Jose de Araujo, said the incident shows the important role volunteers can play in a crisis. “There is no Red Cross without its volunteers. They are based in their community and are the first to respond in an emergency,” he said. “We train them well to help those in need.”
Like most Red Cross Red Crescent National Societies, Cruz Vermelha de Timor-Leste’s first aid training program is a central part of its work.
For eight years, the organization has received funding and training support from the Japanese Red Cross, as well as support from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies.