HUDSON – Everyone should know what to do in an emergency even if it is just applying pressure to a wound.
A resident and volunteer for the EMS for 10 years and then volunteer for the fire department the past six years recently traveled to China for 10 days to run an instructor training course for the International Federation of Red Cross/Red Crescent, the world’s largest humanitarian network which helps people in more than 190 different countries.
Jeffrey L. Pellegrino, Ph. D. MPH is the Foundation Education & Health Sciences professor and program director at Aultman College in Canton.
He teaches a full range of classes and researches the basics to U.S. health care systems, health education and promotion.
"A couple of years ago the International Red Cross invited me to design a trainer of trainers course," Pellegrino said. "We did that and the Chinese Red Cross had interest in developing their trainer of trainers."
Trainers of trainers teach trainers who then teach individuals, he said. It has a multiplying effect.
"We impact every person they teach in the future and that can be thousands," Pellegrino said. "What we do as educators is important."
He accepted China’s invitation and on a recent trip to Beijing and had a group of 35 participants along with three translators.
"They're very good at the technical first-aid part," Pellegrino said. "They can wrap a bandage around a wound, but are they willing to help [someone in need]?"
The International Red Cross wants to make people feel empowered to help, he said.
"I need to make you feel comfortable in helping someone," Pellegrino said.
They showed a video where a person collapses in the subway and it takes seven minutes for people to react. Hundreds walk by and do nothing.
"We had great conversations about it," Pellegrino said. "We want to improve the resiliency of communities for disasters. We want to encourage and empower people to react."
Part of Pellegrino's research is to increase the willingness of the public to respond. Pellegrino has been to China a few times but hesitated this time.
"What we were going to share was counter culture to what they do," Pellegrino said.
"It turned out after a day of socializing, they were super excited," Pellegrino said. "They wanted to inspire people to do first aid and do it in public and not just tell them what to do."
Pellegrino said he learned some other approaches to first aid education while in Beijing.
"China was busy and super populated and they have different issues," Pellegrino said."They are very different from Hudson, but it was amazing to find humanity in each other, and from that common denominator we were able to build many great things."
Every cultural and religion has a golden rule to help others, he said. It's something that unites everyone.
"There are more similarities between religions than differences, especially in how you treat people," Pellegrino said. "We leverage that. They have a moral duty to act."
Rich or poor, male or female, we are all going to get hurt at some point, he said. And each of us has the capacity to help in some way.
Hudson has educational opportunities at the safety building and through programs like the one that provides smoke detectors, Pellegrino said. People need to know the basics of how to stop bleeding, help someone choking, and recognize a life threat.
For more information, go to www.redcross.org
Reporter Laura Freeman can be reached at 330-541-9434 or firstname.lastname@example.org