Sheshegwaning F.N. seeks first response team after Espanola child’s life saved by Birch Island brothers

SHESHEGWANING FIRST NATION—In order to get the first response team up and running again and to provide training to local residents on what to do in an emergency, the Sheshegwaning Health Centre is calling on local residents to come forward to take part in first response training sessions. And so far, they have received a great response from community members.

“We had a first response team for about six to seven years, and then the pandemic hit and everyone backed off,” said Nicole Laford. “We are trying to get the first response team up and running again. And we are looking for parents to take part in CPR training. With the incident of the young boy choking in the Cortina Restaurant in Espanola recently, the parents were lucky that the two young men (Talon and Mskwoka McGregor) were there to save the youngster because they had first response training.”

The health centre has a Facebook post that reads, “Recruiting first response team members: With the news out of Espanola/Cortina’s last week about the lifesaving techniques of two customers, we’re hoping our community members will sign up to receive first response training! Our highly skilled medical first response volunteers are equipped and learn how to respond to injuries and medical emergencies at events in and around the community. Volunteer hours serving the community can assist those looking for experience to include on their applications for these highly competitive fields. It is also a great opportunity to develop, refine and utilize existing first aid skills while helping respond to community health and safety needs. Worried about your elderly neighbour family member? Come to first response training! Want to know what to do in a diabetic emergency? Come to first response training! Want to learn what to do if your munchkin falls and bangs their head? Come to first response training! The skills are transferrable to all areas of your life, and you will feel great knowing you’ve helped out a friend, family member, or community member. Training is free and lunch will be available during this training. Come learn how you can make a difference!”

“We have to remember how far we (community) are from the nearest hospital on the Island,” said Ms. Laford. “We are looking for six people who are committed to the training and learning first response skills.”

“We’ve had 10 people who are interested reach out so far, which is fantastic. If we have 10 that become part of the first response team I would be thrilled,” said Ms. Laford. “We have a contact with the province, through the Ministry of Health (MOH) for a regional training coordinator to come for four or five days and provide intense training so people can learn about the equipment that can be used and various emergency situations.”

Ms. Laford said it is hoped the first response training sessions will take place in the next month or so.