First Wild Kid’s first aid program proves to be very successful on Manitoulin Island

The first ‘Wild Kids First Aid Program’ was held on Manitoulin Island last week. The first of its kind program provided practical first aid training for children from the ages of 4-18

MANITOULIN—A first of its kind program was provided on Manitoulin last week that provided not only practical first aid training for children from the ages of 4-18 years but no doubt provided fun for  participants as well. 

“Overall we  had a great response and the kids got great hands on first aid training. A lot of the kids have probably never been taught in regards to helping others in this way,” stated Sue Meert of Manitoulin Streams Improvement Association.

“We’re pleased with the response we received,” said Ms. Meert. She explained, “We had three kids in level one, 15 in level two, which is great; we had expected 10 kids. Level three we had kids join in with the level two students.

The Wild Kids First Aid program was  the first of its kind to be held on Manitoulin and provided practical learning for children.   

Manitoulin Streams partnered with Manitoulin Training Solutions to  put on the program this summer.

“These outdoor programs are created to educate kids not only on first aid but helping to assist in emergency settings that take place in a nature setting,” said Ms. Meert. “We have partnered with  Manitoulin Training Solutions, who basically headed up development of the program.”

They provided practical safety training with, say an occurrence where someone slips on a rock and breaks their leg in the middle of nowhere, and what the kids need to do in this case, and providing information on stream crossing safety.  

“For instance, kids 14-18 will be able to call 911 and talk to a dispatcher as part of the training on what to do in an emergency situation,” said Ms. Meert.   

Ms. Meert explained the development of the program for ages 4-7, level one, was a one day session geared to younger age level students on emergency situations, preparation and safety in an outdoor setting. It also included fun interactive activities that were held outside of Manitowaning in a nature setting. The Level 2 program was for those aged 8-13. This two day session was more in-depth.

Level three includes kids between the age of 14-18. 

“These sessions provided life saving skills and information that we feel is important for our youth, especially being that we live on an island and are near water wherever we go,” said Ms. Meert. “And many outdoor activities that youth take part in present potential dangers.”

Practice dummies helped students gain a ‘hands-on’ experience with first aid techniques.

“One of the sessions was on preparedness for crossing streams safely,” continued Ms. Meert. “Getting all the kids to think safety and what they need to do if something happens. Monic Shaw, a paramedic (with Manitoulin Training Solutions), did a great job in presenting this to the kids.” 

“It was a busy two days for the older kids with lots of information for them to digest,” said Ms. Meert. 

“I think this year’s event was a success,” said Ms. Meert. “We would like to offer it yearly here (Assiginack) and in  other areas of the Island in future years. We are going to look at the Rainbow District School Board to see if they would come on board as well.”

“Safety should be at the top of priority lists for children, as well as adults,” added Ms. Meert.