Taiwan Church News
20 ~ 26 March, 2023
Reported by Lin Wang-ting from Kaohsiung
Translated by Peter Wolfe
Taiwan is geologically a squeezed-up island where earthquakes, typhoons and other natural disasters occur frequently. Also it is socially exposed to the risk of fire, traffic and other accidents, influenced by the ever-changing international geopolitics. Facing so many uncertain risk and challenges, how should the church respond when the real disaster happens?
To help people acquire basic first-aid knowledge and skills under emergency, a first-aid training, entitled as “Lecture of National Disaster Prevention with Drill of First-Aid Rescue”, was held at Fong-San Church in the afternoon of March 19th. This event was jointly organized by the Church and Society Committee of Kaohsiung Presbytery and So-Shan Presbytery, and cooperated with the Volunteer Unit of Kaohsiung Red Cross Rescue.
Due to two training sessions, jointly cooperated with Kaohsiung Red Cross Rescue in 2022, received a very good response from the local churches of Kaohsiung Presbytery, Rev Lee Chen-chien, minister of Church and Society Ministry Committee of Kaohsiung Presbytery, expressed that So-Shan Presbytery was also invited to join into this first-aid drill in 2023.
The drill participants from 19 local PCT churches in this meeting included elderly, children, and deaf PCT members from the Sign Language Church of So-Shan Presbytery. Rev Lee suggested everyone should be aware of unpredictable risk and trained to acquire a first-aid rescue, as the emergency comes regardless of gender and age
After an opening talk by Mr Li Hui-yuan, leader of the Volunteer Unit of Kaohsiung Red Cross Rescue, a seminar entitled as “Concept of Natural Disaster and First-Aid Rescue Technology” was delivered by Mr Young Cheng-wen.
In the seminar, many personal first-aid experiences explained by Mr Young in his past engagement in famous disaster events, including Typhoon Morakot, Kaohsiung City Underground Gas Pipelines Big Explosion, Collapse of Wei-Kuang Building and etc; the causes and threat of earthquakes, mudslide and extreme weathers were described; safety guidelines on marine activities were also indicated, including off-coast under-currents, steep descent beach, ebb and flow, flashing flood, equipment of slide-proof shoes, river currents due to riverbeds contour, eight signs of drownings and etc.
After the lecture, everyone moved outdoors for a drill practice. With an introduction to the functions of ropes and knots, the participants were divided into five groups to experience rope climbing, descent, crossing, sliding, and the drill practice of Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR) with Automatic External Defibrillator (AED).
During the operation, the participants raised questions, if there could be any disputes or legal risks, when the first-aid providers deal the broken ribs caused by chest compression, or under the emergent need to remove the patient’s underwear during urgent medical healing. To these questions, the coach on site emphasized the priority and urgency of “Save Life First”, and as a matter of fact there is disclaimer clause in the civil law.
As brothers and sisters, who have no medical background will inevitably feel unfamiliar during the operation, so the coach encouraged the participants to practice many times to ensure that they can correctly follow the voice guidance from AED. Through the training process, the assembly do have an in-depth understanding of the beauty and wonder of life.
In the workshop discussion, Mr Li Hui-yuan also shared his personal rescue experiences. He said frankly that landslide victims could not be rescued at the very first moment, as the environment too dangerous and unpredictable; people had to be very careful when the earthquake made building collapsed, as the devastated site are often accompanied by invisible risks such as gas leakage, sparkling fire, and leaking electricity.
Therefore, the site of rescue is dangerous and complicated, and most of the time it should be commanded and guided by enough site information and veteran experience for years.
In the meantime, as the members of Volunteer Unit of Kaohsiung Red Cross Rescue come from all walks of life, they also contribute their expertise and creativity to facilitate the drill. For example, scaffolding at construction site were used instead of routine stairs, so that students could step up to the second floor to experience the descending via ropes from high-altitude floor.
Mr Li Hui-yuan said there was no golden rules in first-aid relief and disaster prevention. Only through continuous training, innovative site simulation and sharing of experiences can people learn the know-how and skills effectively.
To ensure the safety of brothers and sisters in the face of disasters, and help them to stay away from danger as soon as possible, said Li Hui-yuan, this is the reason why Volunteer Unit of Kaohsiung Red Cross Rescue had co-operated with the church so many times.
The second training event was expected to hold at Chyei-Din Church on October 21st.