A Red Cross volunteer, prepared and able to help where it was needed most

Publié: 27 avril 2015 10:39 CET

Sammeer Bajracharya, 22, is an engineering graduate and Red Cross volunteer. He was part of the team deployed in the early hours after the earthquake to provide first aid and search and rescue support. When the earthquake struck, Sammeer was in Bhaktapur. “As soon as the earthquake started, I knew what was happening,” he says. “I made sure my family was OK, and then as soon as the shaking stopped I went out to direct people to safer places.”

Once he was sure his family were safe, Sammeer went into Kathmandu to join a team of first aid volunteers, which worked in collaboration with emergency services. “There was a woman trapped in a building, so we provided first aid material there before moving on to another area,” he says. In addition to providing first aid for those directly affected by the earthquake, the team also treated people in the rescue teams who were dealing with sharp and heavy objects. “There was a rescuer who had cut his finger really badly so we gave him treatment. In the same area there was a woman who was trapped in the rubble. One of her legs had been crushed by the falling building. We worked with the rescue teams and did our best to give her first aid, but unfortunately we couldn’t save her.”

After the first day, Sammeer returned home. “The first night I spent in my community, we formed a team to make sure everyone sleeping outside was safe. We walked around the area where people were staying to make sure it was secure and provide reassurance to those who were scared and helped keep people calm,” he says. “There were so many aftershocks. I don’t think any of our team slept that night.”

Sammeer has been a Red Cross volunteer for two years, and initially joined as part of an earthquake preparedness project. In addition to first aid, he has also taken search and rescue training and, in the process, became a passionate advocate of volunteering. “I have become more and more involved and I love helping people,” he says. “I’ll keep volunteering for as long as I can, providing first aid and support to people who cannot go back to their homes.”